The Nagaland government has said that they will offer Rs 10,000 to those residents who opt not to return to the state right now. A press statement by Chief Secretary Temjen Toy on Tuesday said that many bodies (civil societies, tribal hohos and NGOs) in the state had appealed to stranded citizens not to come back unless its ‘unavoidable’.
This request came in the view of the Centre’s announcement on special trains services from Delhi and other major cities — which affected the state’s initial plan of bringing back citizens in a staggered manner, considering its limited quarantine facilities and other resources.
According to Toy’s statement, the announcement has led the state to now work on a new Standard Operating Procedure for return of stranded residents.
“The Government of India’s 11th May announcement on introduction/resumption of special train services from Delhi and other major cities has thrown these plans out of gear and the State Government is, therefore, working on a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) so that the required quarantine and other protocols are put in place before the arrival of the stranded and distressed citizens into the State,” the statement said.
While the appeal asked people to postpone they return trip if possible, the government also said that they were prioritising the return of “stranded senior citizens and patients who had gone for medical treatment, distressed persons and those facing difficulties for repatriation to the state”. In the statement, Toy added that had systems put in place to “check fraudulent claims and punish dishonest opportunists,”
In April, CM Neiphiu Rio had also announced that the state would be giving out cash assistance to different categories — Rs 20,000 to patients, Rs 4,000 to a professional or working person and Rs 3,000 to students. To that effect the state government had opened a separate portal, iamstranded.nagaland.gov.in, to aid stranded residents who were stuck because of the nationwide lockdown.
According to a statement by Nagaland principal secretary and home commissioner Abhijit Sinha on Tuesday, the state has already disbursed Rs 7.57 crore to stranded residents.
CM Rio has convened a meeting with civil societies on Wednesday to discuss the issue further. While the state remains without an active COVID-19 case, 86 people are currently in quarantine.