The entire country is facing challenges posed by coronavirus pandemic and the State Government was making a constant endeavour to ensure the wellbeing of the people within and outside the state. State Government has been ensuring all possible help to the people of the State stranded in other parts of the country due to lockdown in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
The State government has started helplines to generate data to identify the persons willing to return to their home in the State. The data was compiled and necessary arrangements were made to bring back these stranded Himachalies from other parts of the country. The State Government has also designated nodal officers to provide assistance to people of the state stranded in other states.
With the aim to extend support to people of the state, stranded in various parts of the country, the State Government had also undertaken evacuation operations from various parts of the country. To facilitate movement of the people of Himachal Pradesh stranded in distant places, special trains were also run by the Union Government on the request of the State Government.
Besides the mass evacuation, stranded individuals were also being provided with assistance. One such individual was Dipender Mishra, a 25 year old from Malkehad, Sub Division Palampur, District Kangra, who was undergoing training in Chandigarh was stuck there due to lockdown. Dipender called on the helpline numbers provided by the State Government for assistance of the stranded people of the state. On 26th April, he was brought to Solan from Himachal Bhawan Chandigarh along with other students in HRTC buses and later sent to Kangra.
Muskan of Kinnaur, who works in Mumbai, said that hotels were closed due to lockdown and she was left with no other option rather than coming back. She expressed her happiness on being able to reach to her home state due to timely efforts of state government.
Amit Kumar of Sunni in Shimla District, who was working in a hotel in Pune, on reaching the Una Railway station, stated that he had no hopes of reaching back home amid lockdown but the efforts of the State Government had made it possible.
Rajan Lama of Manali, who reached Una from Goa, appreciated the efforts of the State Government and expressed gratitude towards the Government.
Similarly, Nomita Chaudhary of Nagrota Bagwan, who was working in Nursing Institute at Mohali and simultaneously also taking coaching, was also assisted back to her native place.
All these people were brought back through various evacuation measures initialed by State Government. A special train from Pune to Una arrived on 19th May caring about 617 people including 215 persons of Kangra, 68 of Hamirpur, 63 of Mandi, 16 of Bilaspur, 37 of Kullu, 41 of Solan, nine of Sirmaur, 28 of Chamba, two of Kinnaur, 63 of Shimla and 70 of Una.
Another special train from Mumbai arrived Una on 18th May, which carried 697 persons, including 242 of Kangra, 169 of Hamirpur, 103 of Mandi, 40 of Shimla, 26 of Chamba, 10 of Kullu, 10 of Kinnaur, 43 of Bilaspur, 38 of Una and eight each from Sirmaur and Solan.
Likewise, a train from Goa also arrived on 18th May at Una, which brought back 589 persons of the state, including 122 of Kangra, 19 of Hamirpur, 120 of Mandi, nine of Bilaspur, 146 of Kullu, 10 of Solan, 22 of Sirmaur, 92 of Chamba, one of Kinnaur, 45 of Shimla and two of Una.
About 1486 persons of state were evacuated from Goa through a special train from Thivim/Margao/Karamali (Goa) to Una, which arrived Una on 15th May, in which 128 persons of Chamba, 322 of Kangra, 415 of Mandi, 24 of Bilaspur, 80 of Shimla, one from Kinnaur, 37 of Solan, 20 of Sirmaur, 53 of Hamirpur, 397 of Kullu, two of Lahaul-Spiti and seven were from Una.
Special trains were also arranged from Nagpur to Pathankot carrying 78 persons, Mumbai to Una carrying 736 persons and Pune to Una carrying 546 persons.
Nine Himachal Road Transport Corporation buses were sent from Parwanoo to Kota to bring back 140 students to the state.
Assistance was also extended to people stranded in Chandigarh (Tricity), for which buses were sent in batches. More than 3500 people stranded in Tri-City area were brought back to State in 144 buses in phased manner. In the first batch on 3rd May 1314 persons stranded in Tri-City area were brought back to State in 51 buses, which included 609 people of Kangra district, 335 people of Hamirpur district, 132 people of Una district and 238 people of Chamba district.
The second batch were evacuated in 49 buses on 4th May consisting of 1239 persons which included 622 people of Mandi district, 365 people of Bilaspur district, 191 of Kullu district and 61 people of Lahaul-Spiti district were there. The third batch was evacuated on 5th May in which 1006 persons of five districts of state were evacuated from Tricity in 44 buses, which included 585 people of Shimla district, 150 people of Solan district, 170 from Sirmaur district, 89 people of Kinnaur district and 12 from Bilaspur district.
All these evacuees were medically examined for any ILI symptoms and thereafter kept in home quarantine. The State Government has also issued guidelines for the persons entering the State and has asked to download Aarogya Setu App and also being provided with Information, Education and Communication (IEC) material regarding importance of social distancing.
Apart from these, 29 residents of Himachal Pradesh, who had travelled to different countries before lockdown for various purposes, were also brought back to the country from other countries, out of which 19 have been quarantined at Delhi, five in Kerela and five in Punjab, thereafter completion of the quarantined period would be brought to Himachal Pradesh.