Amid the corona-virus-triggered lockdown, when lakhs of people who lost their jobs, were finding it hard to sustain their livelihood and were eager to return to their homeland, the Himachal Pradesh government was considerate enough to bring back all the Himachali’s stranded in other states by allowing them permissions, through special trains and buses.
About 1.40 lakh stranded people brought back to state
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. The State Government has brought back 1,40,104 people back to the State through various provisions till 25th May,2020. About 61556 people of Kangra, 16292 people of Hamirpur, 15728 people of Solan, 10306 people of Mandi, 7274 people of Shimla, 6599 people of Una, 6109 people of Sirmaur, 6071 people of Bilaspur, 5337 people of Chamba, 3739 people of Kullu, 870 people of Kinnaur and 223 people of Lahaul-Spiti have been brought back from different states.
Around 5474 persons brought back to HP through trains
To facilitate movement of the people of Himachal Pradesh stranded in distant places, the Union Government also ran special trains on the request of the State Government, through which around 5474 persons have arrived in the State. A special train arrived on 26th May at Una from Delhi carrying 271 persons. About 211 people arrived at Chakki Bank Railway station, Pathankot from Chennai Central, Tamil Nadu on 25th May. On 24th May two special trains, one from Ahmadabad, Gujarat arrived at Una railway station carrying 545 persons and another arrived at Chakki Bank railway station, Pathankot from Maharashtra carrying 580 persons. On 23rd May a train arrived from Trivandrum, Kerala at Pathankot carrying 35 people of Himachal Pradesh.
About 118 persons were brought back from Hyderabad and arrived at Pathankot on 20th May through train. Another special train from Pune to Una arrived on 19th May carrying about 617 persons and Mumbai to Una train arrived on 18th May, which carried 697 persons.
Likewise, On 18th May, three trains carrying stranded Himachalis' were brought back to state, in which 259 persons arrived at Pathankot from Chennai, 589 arrived at Una from Goa and 697 from Mumbai. 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. Special trains were also arranged from Nagpur to Pathankot carrying 78 persons.
Apart from this, endeavours were also made by the State Government to evacuate stranded people from other states, for which Himachal Road Transport Corporation buses were sent to different states. 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. The second batch was evacuated in 49 buses on 4th May consisting of 1239 persons. The third batch was evacuated on 5th May in which 1006 persons of five districts of state were evacuated from Tricity in 44 buses.
All these people were brought back through various evacuation measures initiated by State Government. The 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.