Stranded people to be brought back in a staggered manner: CM Khandu

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Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday said his government will not demand special trains to facilitate the return of the people from the state stranded in different parts of the country.

The decision was taken to avoid rush at screening and quarantine facilities which the state presently has, Khandu told reporters here.

The chief minister said the state government has instead decided to opt for staggered evacuation in batches.

He said the decision was also taken to ensure the safety of stranded persons who are currently residing in the state as many among them are under quarantine.

“It does not mean that we are not ready to bring them back. We will do so depending upon the quarantine facilities available here.

“I have already spoken to the Assam government to help us in this regard to which they have agreed,” Khandu said.

Requests have made to the Assam home commissioner and the Railways to add additional bogies on the special trains hired by the Assam government, which would be specifically for Arunachalees, he said.

“The deputy resident commissioners of Guwahati and Dibrugarh have been given enough manpower and expertise to help our people with their onward journey to Arunachal Pradesh once they reach Assam.

“Those who desire to return to the state will be soon informed about the train services,” khandu said while appealing to people to avoid using bus services for returning as it involved several risks.

As per the official count, around 2,400 stranded people have so far returned to the state.

Meanwhile, special arrangements were made by the Arunachal Pradesh government to ferry returnees to the state after they arrived in a special train at Banipur station in neighbouring Assam from New Delhi at 7 am on Thursday.

Several teams headed by officers from Arunachal Pradesh received the passengers and after preliminary screening, the returnees were taken away to quarantine centres in their respective districts in buses, taxis and government vehicles.

Passengers from Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Sibsagar, Charaideo, Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts of Assam, and Arunachal Pradesh were among the 442 people who travelled in the train.

However, the exact number of passengers from Arunachal Pradesh was not known.

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