UP government deploys state transport buses to ferry migrant workers: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on March 28, 2020

The Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday has deployed over 1,000 buses for transporting thousands of migrant labourers stranded on state borders post the nationwide lockdown in light of the coronavirus pandemic according to media reports.

After the centre announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown on Tuesday, heart-wrenching reports of stranded migrant workers walking hundreds of kilometres to home without sufficient resources surfaced across media platforms.

Netizens, NGOs and authorities alike urged the government to aid these workers in reaching to their destination.

Taking cognizance of the matter, Transport Department officials, bus drivers and conductors were contacted on Friday night to help the people stranded in Noida, Ghaziabad, Bulandshahar, and Aligarh, among other places, according to the report.

On Saturday morning UPSRTC buses were deployed for Kanpur, Ballia, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Azamgarh, Faizabad, Basti, Pratapgarh, Sultanpur, Amethi, Rae Bareli, Gonda, Etawah, Bahraich, and Shravasti according to a News18 report.

The buses will ferry labourers and migrant workers stranded on border areas in the NCR region would operate every two hours on March 28 and 29, the report said.

Officials have urged the District Magistrates to medically examine the passenger and note their details including names, addresses and phone numbers for monitoring and supervision in a bid to contain the spread of the virus. Necessary arrangements for food and water across several bus depots in the state have to made as per orders, the report said.

Similar reports of stranded migrant workers have been pouring in from across the nation. Earlier this week, Scroll reported that thousands of migrant workers from Gujarat were similarly making their way home to Rajasthan on foot.

According to previous reports, Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla on Friday wrote to the States/UTs urging them to ensure sufficient arrangements for migrants during the lockdown. This includes food and shelter for migrant agricultural labourers, industrial workers and other unorganised sector workers in the state to prevent the exodus of migrant workers.

India on Friday recorded the highest number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country at 873 with the death toll has climbed to 19 according to the Union Health Ministry.

Published on March 28, 2020

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