Amid intensive protocols and strict adherence to Standard of Operation for Covid-19 evacuation, the first train of stranded persons of J&K has left from Banglore. Aboard the train are 1000 passengers who left the Banglore Railway station on Sunday forenoon and are expected to arrive in next forty-eight hours. The second train boarded with stranded persons is arriving from Goa, which left the coastal state on Sunday Evening.
The return of stranded residents by train has preceded transportation of over 34614 residents by road till May 11 (morning) via Lakhanpur. The majority of returnees via Lakhanpur are migrant workers stranded in neighbouring states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh who have already returned to J&K. The stranded persons from the States/UTs of Haryana, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh and Delhi have also been permitted to return in a regulated manner, with effect from May 07, 2020, and this process will continue for a week.
The evacuation was started after the Ministry of Home Affairs on April 29, 2020, allowed movement of stranded persons with certain conditions. To execute the evacuation plan the Government had issued detailed SOPs on April 30, 2020.
Government of J&K has collected details of stranded persons who wish to return to J&K by providing for online registration. Arrangements are being made for their arrival in an orderly manner while adhering to the norms of social distancing and undertaking testing so as to ensure that timely action is taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the UT of J&K.
The highly regulated homecoming of such persons aboard the trains has been initiated with elaborate preemptive arrangements. The authorities have framed intensive protocols and established detailed procedure for their district wise return. The trains entering the Union Territory will disembark the passengers at Udhampur railway station. The District administration Udhampur has created a fresh sample collection capacity of 1000 per day for train returnees as there will be 100 percent testing of the passengers for Covid-19.
As per the administration, all arrangements for receiving, registering and sending the returnees to their respective destinations further by bus have been made. The returnees will be sent by bus convoys with police escort till they reach quarantine facilities. All returnees have to be 100% tested and undergo ‘administrative quarantine’ with no exceptions. Only if tests come negative, can they be sent for home quarantine for 14 days.