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Coronavirus lockdown: Over 2,500 migrant labourers reach UP from Gujarat

Coronavirus lockdown: Over 2,500 migrant labourers reach UP from Gujarat

While regular rail operations remain suspended during the lockdown, the Railways is running special trains to ferry home migrant labourers stranded in different parts of the country

All the migrant labourers have been told to remain in home quarantine for 21 days All the migrant labourers have been told to remain in home quarantine for 21 days

Over 2,500 migrant labourers reached Uttar Pradesh's Ballia and Lucknow districts on two special trains from different parts of Gujarat on Wednesday, over a month after a coronavirus-induced lockdown left them stranded away from their homes. While 1,250 labourers arrived in Ballia on a train from Rajkot, another 1,262 reached Lucknow on a train from Anand, officials said.

Uttar Pradesh State Roadways Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) buses were arranged to take the labourers home from railway stations, they said. Ballia District Magistrate Pratap Shahi said, "A special train carrying 1,250 migrant labourers from Rajkot in Gujarat arrived at Ballia railway station on Wednesday morning. Of the 1,250 migrant labourers, around 650 are from Ballia, while rest of them are from Mau, Deoria, Azamgarh, Ghazipur, Fatehpur and Kanpur."

They underwent medical check-ups and later headed for their native places in 50 UPSRTC buses, he said. All the migrant labourers have been told to remain in home quarantine for 21 days, he added.

The returnee migrant labourers said they were looked after during the journey and were happy to have reached their native state safely. "As the train reached Jaipur from Rajkot, we were given food packets and water. We were provided breakfast at the Ballia station," said Rajesh, a native of Ballia's Bansdih.

Manoj Kumar Chauhan, who hails from Mau district, said the government did not charge him anything for the train journey. Ajay Yadav, a resident of Ghazipur, thanked the government and said he was happy to have come back safely. In Lucknow, 1,262 migrant labourers arrived from Anand around 8.30 am, UPSRTC Managing Director Raj Shekhar said. "UPSRTC deployed 50 buses to ferry the migrant labourers from Lucknow to their hometowns.

"The migrant labourers who arrived in Lucknow left for (their homes in) Gorakhpur, Deoria, Prayagraj, Pratapgarh, Farrukhabad, Kasganj, Jaunpur, Hathras, Jalaun and Hardoi in UPSRTC buses," he said in a statement. While regular rail operations remain suspended during the lockdown, the Railways is running special trains to ferry home migrant labourers stranded in different parts of the country. A decision to run these trains was taken by the Centre last week following repeated requests by several states.

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