Meghalaya explores options to bring back stranded citizens to state by special flights, trains

Meghalaya explores options to bring back stranded citizens to state by special flights, trains
Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma. (File Photo)

Shillong, April 30:

Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma has informed that the Government is exploring the option of bringing back those people who are stranded outside the State by way of special trains and flights.

"There are discussions of special trains and flights for bringing back those who are stranded in various parts of the country. We will have to wait and see if such arrangements can be made," Sangma told reporters here today.

Pointing out the Government is concerned about those who are stranded outside, he said that there is also a concern about the logistics as well as the health concerns that are attached to their movements especially from the red zone districts and States across the country.

"Therefore, this matter has to be dealt with carefully. We are examining all the options which are available. We hope things will materialise soon," Meghalaya Chief Minister said.

He said that the Government understands that people who are studying and working outside are facing lots of difficulties and challenges.

"I know it is not easy for you. We are doing our best to be able to take care of the entire situation and to ensure that the State and our people are protected. We don't want to take any health risk in the State. We need to follow this kind of system and protocols. We know it is an inconvenience for you," Sangma said.

To a question if the Government is looking at the option of going for mass quarantine of those who are stranded outside the State, he said that from the medical perspective it will not be proper to go for mass quarantine since it's difficult to ascertain who is infected and who is not.

"It is always safe to follow home quarantine. Only if we see people with symptoms then we will put them in the isolation wards or corona centres. We will allow those who are asymptomatic to go home. But all the family members of the individuals will have to do home quarantine for 14 days. Home quarantine is the best option since the number is too big for the government to provide isolation to everyone," Meghalaya Chief Minister added.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong said that there are not less than 2300 or 2400 people from the State who are stranded in various parts of North Eastern region.

"We have asked them to register so that we can have the exact figures of how many of them want to come back. We will start the process immediately once we have the final list of the people who are keen to return home," Tynsong told reporters today.

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Meanwhile, he said that all of them will have to follow the protocol in totality by going for home quarantine or a minimum of 14 days once they land in their villages and localities.

He however said that it is a herculean task to bring back those who are stranded outside the region unless air and train services resume.

"We can't send buses all the way to Delhi. This option is not feasible at all," Tynsong said.

The state wise break up of such stranded students and those working in private companies are – Karnataka (2719), Assam (2104), Tamil Nadu (1164), Maharashtra (685), West Bengal (642), Delhi (531), Telangana (357), Kerala (254), Rajasthan (201), Gujarat (194), Uttar Pradesh (194), Andhra Pradesh (175), Uttarakhand (164), Haryana (120), Bihar (101), Goa (101), Arunachal Pradesh (94), Manipur (81), Madhya Pradesh (78), Punjab (58), Nagaland (56), Pondicherry (51), Mizoram (40), Tripura (35), Odisha (21), Sikkim (19), Himachal Pradesh (16), Jharkhand (15), Chandigarh (7), Chattisgarh (7), Andaman and Nicobar Island (4).

Govt moots to send migrant workers to their respective states in phase manner

The Meghalaya Government is looking to facilitate the exercise of allowing the migrant workers who are currently in the State to return to their respective States in a phase manner.

"We are planning to carry out this exercise in two phases. We are not going to touch outside the North Eastern States at the beginning of the exercise since there is more risk involved. We will first start with the migrant workers hailing from from NE especially Assam since the risk is lesser," Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma told reporters after the review meeting here today.

He said that the Government can look to expand in few of the States outside the region in the second phase.

Asserting that there is a need to have a very strong checking at the border areas, Meghalaya Chief Minister said that all the migrant workers will have to be registered before they come, particularly for those who does not have access to technology for registering online.

"There will be registration process while they enter and obviously the same will be done while they enter Assam. After the screening is done then there will be quarantine procedures in every States. So the protocols are going to be the same everywhere," Sangma said.

Pointing out that that it is going to be a massive movement, he said that huge manpower will be required to ensure that the exercise is carried out in a smooth manner.

On the inter-district movement of migrant workers, he said that they have allowed movement from other districts except from Shillong which has been categorised as a Red Zone.

"We will be able to relax on the movement from Shillong in a couple of days.

Meanwhile, Meghalaya Chief Minister said that the Government will be ready with the entire manual not just the protocols by this evening which will provide a clear idea on the procedures which are required to be followed.

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Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong informed that they have instructed the Transport department along with the Deputy Commissioner on the arrangement of the buses for dropping of the migrant workers from one district to another except East Khasi Hills.

Despite MHA directive to allow the travel of the migrant workers, Tynsong said that the migrant workers are free to continue staying and continue with their work since the construction work has already resumed in most of the States.

"We will not allow bringing migrant workers from outside the State. Migrant workers should be from within the State," Deputy Chief Minister said.

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