UP provides cash support of Rs 1,000 each to more than 3.3 mn poor people

Migrants with their belongings wait outside CSMT to board a special train to reach their native places, during the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, in Mumbai
The Uttar Pradesh government has provided cash handouts of Rs 1,000 each to more than 3.3 million poor people, who had lost their livelihood following the imposition of the Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020.

According to official figures, more than 3.32 million beneficiaries have so far received the cash support directly in their bank accounts. This includes 1.79 million construction labourers, 881,000 urban labourers and 659,000 destitute in the rural areas of the state.

The scheme has cost the exchequer more than Rs 332 crore and the state government has also decided to provide Rs 1,000 each to the migrant labourers returning from other states if they fulfill the criteria.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Adityanath, while presiding over a review meeting in Lucknow on Wednesday, directed officials to ensure no one was left hungry and to provide dry ration to the needy, apart from food packets being served from the community kitchens.

“The CM has stressed upon augmenting the testing capacity to 15,000 samples a day by the end of this week itself,” UP additional chief secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi said this evening.

The government is in the process of providing one TrueNat machine to each of the 75 districts for speedy Covid-19 diagnosis and to cover a larger sample base. The state had recently deployed state aircraft to fetch the machines from Mumbai and to transport them to the respective districts. So far, about 20 TrueNat machines have already been deployed.

Besides, the state medical education department will float a tender for setting up nearly a dozen new testing facilities in the state.

At the same time, the government has made the provision of over 100,000 Covid beds across the different level 1, 2 and 3 hospitals to deal with any eventuality, especially against the backdrop of the arrival of more than 3.2 million migrant workers.

So far, the government has arranged for more than 1,600 Shramik Special trains to evacuate the UP workers from Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Delhi, West Bengal etc. Besides, the migrant workers also returned by the roadways buses from neighbouring states viz. Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand etc or by other vehicles on their own.
“The state is now procuring the new coverall personal protection equipment (PPE) kits at the competitive price of Rs 351 apiece, which is probably the lowest across the states,” Awasthi claimed.

Meanwhile, the state revenue department has completed the skill mapping of 2.5 million migrant workers. This database will be shared with the industry chambers and state employment exchanges for providing them jobs.

Besides, Adityanath has instructed the UP infrastructure and industrial development commissioner (IIDC) to hold regular parleys with the investors and industry to attract fresh investment against the backdrop of the current situation.

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