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Work for 3 expressways resume, curbs in high-risk UP cities to stay

About 7,000 labourers have been engaged for Purvanchal and Bundelkhand expressways on the condition that they maintain social distancing after proper medical check-up, according to the government.

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow | Published: April 21, 2020 5:10:56 am
Up curfew, coronavirus outbreak, expressways work resume, Up news, indian express news At a toll plaza on national highway, in Prayagraj on Monday. (Photo: Ritesh Shukla)

Construction of Purvanchal, Bundelkhand and Gorakhpur expressways resumed with reduced capacity on Monday even as the wait for gradual lockdown relaxations in districts with 10 or more cases just got longer.

About 7,000 labourers have been engaged for Purvanchal and Bundelkhand expressways on the condition that they maintain social distancing after proper medical check-up, according to the government.

Out of the eight packages of the 340-km Purvanchal Expressway, work has resumed on five packages. For the remaining packages, work will restart from Tuesday.

As many as 4,835 workers, who have been given passes, have been roped in for the eight packaged against the requirement of 10,000 workers at normal times.

For the six-package Bundelkhand Expressway, work has resumed for three packages while the rest will start on Tuesday. Against the required strength of about 6,000 workers, these packages now have about 2,150 labourers. The 300-km Bundelkhand Expressway will connect Bundelkhand region to the Delhi National Capital Region via Lucknow-Agra Expressway near Etawah.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, in a review meeting on Monday, directed districts with more than 10 positive coronavirus cases to not dilute the lockdown. District magistrates have been asked to strictly review the situation before allowing any exemption.

He also instructed that lockdown compliance in hotspot areas should be 100 per cent and no negligence would be tolerated.

According to Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi, Adityanath said there were 19 districts with 10 or more coronavirus positive cases. He said that only medical services, sanitation and doorstep delivery can be allowed in hotspot areas.

Awasthi said instructions had also been given to keep an eye on people engaged in doorstep delivery.

In Lucknow, secretariat offices were reopened with conditions earlier issued by the Secretariat Administration Department.

As per instructions issued by Chief Secretary RK Tiwari on April 16, the “continuous process industries” have been allowed to function after April 20 on conditions that they use only 50 per cent of their workforce and ensure that they are not infected with coronavirus. The 11 exempted industries are steel, refineries, cement, chemical, foundries, fertilisers, cloths except apparel, paper, tyre, common effluent treatment plants and sugar mills. The exemption is only for non-containment areas.

The government has allowed transportation of raw material for these industries, in the first phase.

These units have also been asked to get 5-10 random employees tested before starting operations. If workforce is required to come from their homes, transportation facility with proper social distancing is to be provided by their employers.

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