Gandhinagar, March 27 : Thousands of people were being transported to places across and outside Gujarat against the backdrop of a 21-day national lockdown with states have sealed their borders.
The state administration itself was helping in the transportation.
After the entry of COVID-19 in the state, which has seen up to 44 positive cases and three deaths till Thursday in Gujarat, the national lockdown since Tuesday night was intended to curb the spread of the virus. As a result, restrictions were imposed on transportation.
Large numbers of people, primarily the migrant labourers from the neighbouring states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh (MP), were moving across the state as they did not find any transport.
The state government began helping them by providing state transport buses. Those from Rajasthan were provided buses by the Gujarat government.
"We facilitated these workers and labourers to send them back to Rajasthan in many buses," Dilip Thakor, the Labour and Employment Minister, Gujarat government told IANS.
On Thursday, nine buses full of another batch of such labourers were packed off to Rajasthan, helped by the police authorities. The Vadaj police station, Naranpura police station and other police stations in Ahmedabad arranged bus transportation for around 550 to 600 passengers from Vaishnodevi Circle in Ahmedabad.
The passengers were checked up through thermal scanners and thereafter allowed to board the buses, heading for Rajasthan.
Similarly at many other places in Gujarat, the administration was seen helping people move across in government or private vehicles.
Asked whether this violated the lockdown, Jayanti Ravi, principal secretary, Health and family welfare Department, Gujarat told IANS, "Look the transportation is not our subject, we only look after the health aspects in the state."
-- The story has been published from a wire feed without any modifications to the text