The Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday decided to bear the travel expenses of migrant workers returning to their home states following easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, as Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy asked officials to adopt a liberal approach towards them.
Accordingly, the Department of Medical and Health issued fresh guidelines stating that the cost of the journey of people from the relief camps maintained by government/NGOs to the identified railway station and the cost of railway ticket to the destination point in other states will be borne by the state government as a "goodwill gesture."
The government will also take care of food for the migrant workers in consultation with the IRCTC and as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Railways, the Health Department said in an order.
In addition, each worker will be paid Rs 500 towards incidental expenses.
Official sources said the state government so far arranged Shramik special trains to Maharashtra from Vijayawada, to Bihar from Kurnool and also Kovvuru to send the migrant workers back home.
Additional trains will be arranged in the coming days as well, based on the consent of the receiving state, sources said.
The Group of Ministers met in the Secretariat on Wednesday evening and discussed the issue of bringing back AP residents stranded in other states.
"The Chief Minister directed that all expenditure for this be borne by the government, if the other state does not do so, without burdening the workers. Accordingly, we are making necessary arrangements," Deputy Chief Minister (Health) AK K Srinivas told reporters after the Group of Ministers meeting.
He said required medical tests would be conducted on those returning to the state and medicare provided based on requirement.
So far, 1,000 migrant workers from Thane in Maharashtra returned to the state and reached Guntakal.
Medical tests were being carried out on them as the Covid-19 spread was rampant in Thane.