Uttarakhand evacuates 26,000 migrants, awaits five special trains | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Uttarakhand evacuates 26,000 migrants, awaits five special trains

Hindustan Times, Dehradun | ByKalyan Das | Edited by Sabir Hussain
May 10, 2020 04:39 PM IST

Uttarakhand has sought five trains to evacuate its residents stranded in the lockdown from Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad, Pune, Surat and Ahmedabad.

Uttarakhand has so far evacuated about 26,054 of its residents from other states till Sunday noon amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Cabinet minister and government spokesperson Madan Kaushik said.

Stranded migrant workers wait for buses bound to their native state – Uttarakhand in Gurugram.(Parveen Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Stranded migrant workers wait for buses bound to their native state – Uttarakhand in Gurugram.(Parveen Kumar/HT PHOTO)

Kaushik revealed the figures at a press conference at the state secretariat on the measures being taken by the state government to tackle the pandemic and bringing back migrants.

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“So far there are about 1.80 lakh registrations on the government website for returning to the home state. We have so far brought back 26,054 of our stranded residents from other states in state transport corporation buses,” he said.

He said that most of the people who have returned to Uttarakhand were stranded in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab.

The minister also informed that the state government has been in talks with the Centre for running at least five special trains to evacuate stranded residents from far away states.

“We have demanded trains from Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad, Pune, Surat and Ahmedabad from the Centre. The talks are in the final stage and we have got oral approval but are waiting for a written approval which will be the final one. Once it is received then the special trains would start in the next few days,” said Kaushik.

He also spoke about the measures being taken for the evacuees to ensure that the infection doesn’t spread in the state.

“After bringing the people to the designated centres at Haridwar or US Nagar, they are being screened for possible Covid-19 infection. As we have to do it thoroughly, it is taking some time -- about one or two days before the migrants are allowed to go to their homes. I want to appeal to all those people to have some patience as it is for their own health and safety as well as others in their neighbourhood,” said Kaushik.

He also said that the government has earmarked adequate budget for village heads to make proper quarantine arrangements if any migrant in their village doesn’t have the facility for home quarantine. “The village heads will be responsible for making quarantine arrangements for them in nearby schools or any community centre,” he said.

Apart from the residents who are returning to Uttarakhand, Kaushik said that about 25,730 people of other states stranded in Uttarakhand have also registered to return to their home states.

“We have already sent 7,207 of them to their states in our state buses. We are making arrangements for the others in coordination with governments of their respective states,” he said adding that about 40,714 people stranded in others districts within the state have also been sent to their home districts.

The minister said there has been no response from the Bengal government on the evacuation of 600 of its people in Uttarakhand.

“We have communicated to the West Bengal government several occasions but haven’t received any proper response from them. Their residents here want to return and are tense. However, we are helping them in every possible manner by providing them food and other help. We are even counselling them to have patience,” said Kaushik.

Earlier on Saturday evening, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat in a video message said that he had spoken to the Centre for a special train from Delhi where about 50,000 of Uttarakhand residents are stranded.

“The ministry of railways has given permission for it and the train may soon start to bring our residents back. We have already made an advance payment of 50 lakh to the Indian Railways for special trains so that they don’t charge the residents for a ticket. We are committed to bring all our residents back to their home,” said Rawat.

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