Noida (UP), Mar 27 (PTI) Amid reports of ill-treatment with migrant workers in several cities, the Gautam Buddh Nagar administration provided government transportation to over 600 stranded people on Friday to help them reach home during the lockdown, officials said.
Over a dozen buses were arranged and the people, mostly migrant workers, including women and children, were picked up from the Yamuna Expressway between 12 night and 3 am, they added.
Several labourers and migrant workers hailing from Bihar and places in interior Uttar Pradesh such as Etawah, Auraiya, Kanpur, Aligarh, Gorakhpur, Azamgarh had started off on foot for their homes, the officials said.
Three administration officials also arranged food packets for those stranded.
'These workers were based in Noida and Greater Noida. Several of them lived here with their families. A large number of people coming from Delhi and Haryana had also undertaken the journey of hundreds of kilometres on foot,' Deputy Collector Abhay Singh told PTI.
'There were at least a dozen women who must have been above 65 years of age and they were in a state of despair,' he said, adding that Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Jewar, Gunja Singh and Tehsildar Durgesh Singh, along with him, oversaw the transportation work that began around midnight.
The official said 12-13 Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) buses could be made available for the over-600 stranded people, while help was also availed from some private commercial vehicles.
'Our first priority was to ensure that they do not remain stranded and reach their homes. There is a countrywide lockdown and nobody should be out on the roads. These buses will take them to Aligarh, Etawah and Agra. Several workers belong to these places. For those who need to go further, the UPSRTC will take a call on how to assist them,' the deputy collector said.
In a televised address on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a complete lockdown across the country for 21 days beginning Wednesday in a major bid to contain the coronavirus from spreading.
Till Thursday, India had recorded nearly 700 coronavirus cases, including 16 deaths. Uttar Pradesh has recorded 41 COVID-19 cases, according to official data. PTI KIS RC