LUCKNOW: Over 1 lakh migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh stranded in different parts of the country following the coronavirus-induced lockdown will return to the state by Saturday night on 114 trains, a senior government official said.
Another 98 trains will reach the state on Sunday and Monday, while talks are on to allow 15 to 20 more, he said on Saturday.
"Till Saturday morning, 97 trains have reached the state and another 17 will reach by the evening.
With this, more than 1.20 lakh migrant workers and labourers will be back in the state," Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Awanish Awasthi said.
These trains arrived at 36 railway stations of the state, with Lucknow and Gorakhpur receiving 11 trains each, he said.
Awasthi said Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has stressed that no migrant should undertake the journey home on foot or bicycle.
The government has also given permission for 98 more trains which will bring back migrants from other parts of the country on Sunday and Monday, he said, adding that talks are on to allow another 15 to 20 trains.
"We have made arrangements for the arrival of some 40 trains on a daily basis. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has asked (officials) to go ahead with this task of bringing back migrants in a more organised manner," he added.
In pursuance of a letter that the chief minister wrote to his counterparts in other states, Awasthi said, the Uttar Pradesh government is now getting lists of migrants in advance with medical certification.
All those returning undergo medical check-ups before they head to their native districts where they are again checked and then sent for home quarantine, he said.
The exercise of bringing back migrants from other countries will also start on Saturday night when the first flight from Sharjah will land at the Lucknow airport, the additional chief secretary, home, said.
For those returning from Sharjah, the Lucknow district magistrate has made arrangements for paid quarantine, he said.
Referring to Adityanath's meeting with senior state officials earlier in the day, Awasthi said the chief minister directed them to prepare a work plan for providing jobs to 20 lakh people.
There is a need for some changes in the labour laws which were recently approved by the state cabinet.
Earlier on Saturday, a special train carrying 1,176 migrant workers from Rajkot in Gujarat reached Uttar Pradesh's Ballia district.
Of the 1,176 workers, 420 are from Ballia, while rest are from Prayagraj, Fatehpur, Hardoi, Maharajganj, Kushinagar, Etawah and other districts.
The workers were screened at the railway station after their arrival, District Magistrate Hari Pratap Shahi said.
They were provided food packets and water before they left for their native places.
Some migrants who arrived on the train claimed they had to pay for their tickets.
Some passengers claimed that they had to pay Rs 725 as train fare to the Gujarat Police, Shahi said, adding that he had no information about it.