A day after the state government pressed 200 public buses into service at each border district for ferrying migrants, it on Sunday asked all 75 districts to hire 200 additional private buses for the same purpose.
Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi said besides trains from other states, several others have been confirmed to move within the state, and that the railway department will run MEMU trains for shorter distances.
“Whichever state is asking us for permission to run trains, we are making all arrangements. Wherever needed we are providing funds to run the trains. Till date, we have already paid Rs 6 crore to the Railways. Additional Rs 20 crore will be given to the Railways on Monday. We have also requested the Railways to run MEMU trains for shorter distance and we hope to see it happening soon. The CM has also directed the district administrations to arrange private vehicles like school buses at fixed rate so that every migrant can be taken to his designation. Every district should acquire more than 200 private vehicles and the amount will be given by the revenue department,” he said.
“The CM has said that migrants who have reached our border districts from other states by walking on foot, through cycle or any other means, should be shown sympathy, provided food and water, and then sent to their home districts by buses or any other mode. Now, he has also directed that trains be run from Jhansi, Mathura, Ghaziabad, Agra, Prayagraj, Meerut, Saharanpur, Noida and even Mahoba if needed,” Awasthi said.
More than 10,000 roadways buses are being run and private vehicles are also being acquired, he said. He said that till yesterday, around 15 lakh persons had entered the district, by creating a record of 1.5 lakh workers came in a single day. “With this the number of migrants has crossed 16.5 lakh. Yesterday, we received 87 trains, and till date, 522 Shramik Special trains have arrived with more than 6.65 lakh migrants,” said Awasthi.
The state has received 3.35 lakh migrants from Gujarat — the most — on 250 trains followed by Maharashtra with 1.5 lakh migrants on 121 trains and Punjab with 1 lakh people on 91 trains.
Of the total 522 inbound trains, 79 of them were for Gorakhpur. As many as 250 additional trains will also carry migrant workers. “In Gorakhpur, 79 trains have been run and 92,298 people have reached there. The number is almost equal to migrants brought in some states. Similarly, around 55,000 people have come on 45 trains in Lucknow and 27 trains in Varanasi. In a smaller district like Unnao, at least 20 trains have reached. This is a record,” he said.
He appealed to all the migrants to not walk as “we have made all arrangement to bring them back”. While 522 trains have already reached, 250 more have been permitted,” he added.
CM Yogi Adityanath reiterated that the Centre is bearing 85% of train fare and the rest by the state. He said that if all states contribute their share, migrant workers can reach their homes safely without paying any fare.