Amaravati: Declining a public interest litigation, the Supreme Court of India on 15 May had said it cannot stop migrants from walking home and it is for the state governments to take the necessary actions. Following this, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Saturday, 16 May has instructed the officials to resume intra-state bus services primarily to cater to the walking migrant workers. The buses should operate with stringent standard operation procedures, the CM said.

He also asked the official to issue strict instructions to the ground level staff saying that no personnel should insist on any migrant worker buying a ticket.

“If anyone declares himself/herself as a migrant labour, nobody should insist on them paying for the travel. The migrant workers can avail the service for free,” the CM said.

The officials have been asked to come up with stringent SOPs pertaining to maintaining physical distance and limiting the number of people in each bus to ensure that restarting the services doesn’t hamper the state’s precautions against Covid-19.

On Thursday, the Andhra Pradesh state government had decided to set up facilities across the state to provide food, water and other basic necessities to those migrant workers who are seen walking long distances in the scorching heat. The CM had also asked the authorities to chalk out a plan to make sure that the suffering that migrants are having to endure due to walking long distances is reduced if not eliminated.

The Andhra Pradesh government, on 15 May, also announced that it will invest Rs. 16,203 crore to strengthen health care facilities in the state. The funds will go towards revamping government hospitals and medical colleges.

Meanwhile, the government will also set up around 10,000 YSR health clinics at every village secretariat, said Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday. The 1,086 sub-centres established under the Nadu-Nedu programme will also be turned into YSR health clinics as part of the state government’s initiative to provide better medical facilities round-the-clock at the village level.

The Chief Minister has asked officials to identify suitable land before 15 June and complete the project by March 2021.

Besides, the state has also allocated Rs. 6,100 crore for multi-specialty hospitals in tribal regions and six medical colleges with attached institutions. The government has also proposed plans to build 15 new medical and nursing colleges.

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