LUCKNOW: More than 21 lakh migrant labourers have returned to Uttar Pradesh from different parts of the country on over 1,500 special trains so far, a senior state government official said on Saturday.
The Indian Railways started Shramik Special trains on May 1 to facilitate the movement of migrant labourers back to their home states during the coronavirus-induced nationwide lockdown.
"So far, over 21 lakh migrant labourers have come back to the state on as many as 1,550 trains. The maximum number of trains -- 257 -- has arrived in Gorakhpur on which 3.31 lakh migrant labourers returned," Additional Chief Secretary (Home and Information) Awanish Awasthi said.
He said 109 trains arrived in Lucknow, 125 in Jaunpur, 111 in Varanasi and 99 in Deoria.
Awasthi said the maximum number of trains (520) arrived from Gujarat, followed by Maharashtra (398) and Punjab (233).
"The chief minister has directed that food and water should be arranged for the migrant labourers who are returning from various states. They should be taken to quarantine centres," he said.
"During medical screening, the labourers, if found fit, should be provided with ration kits. Those who are found to be medically unfit should be sent for treatment," he said.
The lockdown has had a devastating impact on the economy as well as on the livelihoods of lakhs of migrant labourers.
With no money to buy food or pay rent, labourers across the country have been returning to their native places.
(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)