Over 3,000 people stranded in Karnataka and Goa will return to Jammu and Kashmir by special trains between Monday to Wednesday.
Giving details, sources said that the first train carrying nearly 1,000 migrants stranded in Karnataka will reach Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur town on Monday. The other 2,000 migrants are stranded in Goa. The two trains carrying them will arrive at Udhampur during the wee hours of Tuesday and Wednesday.
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Meanwhile, Commissioner-Secretary Industries and Commerce, Manoj K Dwivedi, who has been appointed the overall incharge for management of stranded people/returnees by train, said that while the train carrying nearly 1,000 people from Goa’s Thivim railway station will be arriving here during wee hours of Tuesday, another will reach from Goa’s Mudgaon Junction railway station on Wednesday.
The UT government is expecting the return of 60,000 – 70,000 stranded people from different places by trains, Dwivedi said, adding that it has accordingly made arrangements for it. These stranded people include students, traders and migrant labourers among others who had gone to other parts of the country for studies, business and jobs, he added.
To handle such a large number of people arriving, the UT government has asked for sending a maximum of two trains a day with an interval of six to eight hours so as to efficiently capture their data and make arrangements for their transportation straight to their native districts. These returnees will be medically screened at their native districts and quarantined there, he added.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam has sought personal intervention of Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla for arranging the return of 230-240 students still stranded in Bangladesh to Jammu and Kashmir before the Eid festival.
Pointing out that the first batch of 168 students of J&K studying there have been airlifted to Srinagar on May 8, the Chief Secretary in a letter to Harsh Vardhan said that those still stranded there are anxious to return home.
“Their early return attains significance in view of the ongoing holy month of Ramadhan and the approaching Eid festival falling on May 25,’’ he wrote, adding that “with the present plan of evacuating these students in a staggered manner, there is every apprehension that such students who have to take flights at later dates would get anxious’’.
“This needs to be mitigated, keeping in consideration the extreme distress prevalent in the stranded students/persons due to the COID-19 pandemic,’’ he added.
Meanwhile, nearly 35,000 people have so far returned to Jammu and Kashmir by road since April 29. While migrant workers, students and stranded persons from the States of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab have already returned to J&K, those stranded in the States/UTs of Haryana, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh and Delhi have now been permitted to return, in a regulated manner, official sources said.
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