Thousands of stranded people head home

Thousands of stranded people head home
Thousands of stranded people at State Stadium in Dimapur on Thursday. (NP)
Staff Reporter/Correspondent DIMAPUR/KOHIMA/MOKOKCHUNG/KIPHIRE, MAY 7 (NPN) | Publish Date: 5/7/2020 12:51:26 PM IST

Thousands of people, who were stranded in different parts of Nagaland due to the nationwide lockdown since March 24, left for their respective home districts on Thursday, the first day of the three-day window provided by the State government for movement of such people. 

As reported, all DCs had been directed to make necessary arrangements to facilitate the movement of people to their respective destinations, while NST/private buses arranged by the government will be provided for transportation of such persons free of cost. However, those travelling by private vehicles will have to bear their own expenses.

DIMAPUR: Around 1297 people stranded in Dimapur left for their respective homes on Thursday morning from State Stadium, near DC’s office.

But it was not without chaos and confusion as about 3,000 people turned up at the designated area, many reportedly without any prior registration. The police had a harrowing time controlling the crowd as most of them ignored appeals to maintain discipline and social distancing.

The Dimapur district authorities led by DC Dimapur, Anoop Kinchi and commissioner of Police R. Tetseo monitored the movement of 1,297 people on day one, as they departed in about 50 buses-- both private and government– along with police escorts. 10 buses with 310 people left for Mon, Longleng:  3 buses with 74 people, Kohima: 1 bus with 29 people, Peren: 2 buses with 41 people, Wokha: 4 buses with 78 people, Mokokchung: 5 buses with 129 people, Kiphire: 2 buses with 48 people, Phek: 4 buses with 61 people, Meluri: 2 buses with 43 people, Zuneboto: 3 buses with 71 people, Tuensang: 4 buses with 121 people, Shamator: 1 bus with 31 people, Noklak: 2 buses with 53 people, Tamlu: 3 buses with 32 people, Pungro: 1 bus with 38 people, Tobu: 2 buses with 62 persons  and Akuhuiqa: 1 bus with 28 people.

All travellers were medically examined before being allowed to board the buses and also keeping in mind the requirement to maintain social distancing while travelling. Besides officials of district administration, medical staff, traffic police and the police, volunteers of Dimapur Naga Students’ Union and Dimapur Eastern Naga Students’ Union assisted the people in leaving for their respective destinations.

Kohima: Kohima district administration too started the massive exercise of systematically sending off stranded students and daily wage earners stranded in Kohima to their respective districts.

Altogether 1,109 people left Kohima Thursday for their home by 38 NST buses, of which 12 buses went to Mon, eight to Tuensang, seven to Dimapur, five to Tobu (Tuensang) and three each to Mokokchung and Wokha respectively.

Also, over 400 hundred private vehicles were issued one-way permits for travel till Wednesday to enable the stranded people to return to their respective districts.

ADC Kohima Lithrongla Tongpi Rutsa said the Kohima facilitation centre had received around 3,000 applications from persons who are who are from outside the State and wanted to go to their respective States. He said the application had been forwarded to the State government for necessary action. 

Out of the 3,000 applicants, most of whom are daily wage earners, around 1,300 are from Bihar, 900 from Assam and the rest from Manipur and other North Eastern States. Those from Assam and Manipur and having their own private vehicles were permitted to travel after proper screening.

Housing & mechanical minister and legislator in-charge of Kohima Tongpang Ozukum visited the facilitation centre on Thursday to oversee the sending back of stranded persons to their respective districts.

Mokokchung: The first batch of people stranded in various parts of Mokokchung started their journey back home on Thursday. Three buses to Mon and one each to Dimapur and Tuensang left Mokokchung NST station.

All the buses and NST complex were sanitised by Mokokchung Municipal Council’s sanitation workers prior to arrival of the people, all of whom were then screened by medical staff before being allowed to board the buses.

And, in a move aimed at providing spiritual touch to the entire operation, pastors of Mokokchung Town Baptist Church (MTBA) reached the NST station and prayed for safe journey of the passengers. The pastors, along with other church workers, also handed over lunch packets to all the passengers.

Kiphire: Forty four stranded persons from Kiphire were transported to Kohima and Dimapur in four buses on Thursday.

All the persons were medically-examined at the district hospital before the journey.

Deputy commissioner Sarita Yadav along with other district administration officials and superintendent of police were present during the time of their departure.

‘Bus owners defying order’

DIMAPUR, MAY 7 (NPN): All Nagaland Private Bus Union (ANPBU) Thursday alleged that private bus owners were defying the bus requisition order issued by deputy commissioner.

According to ANPBU general secretary Hovishe Achumi, the union had detailed 20 inter-state private buses to be requisitioned for transporting of stranded people to other districts. However, he said that only 12 buses have turned up causing shortage of buses. He said many vehicles were abstaining from reporting by making the excuses of “unacceptable reason”.

The union has, therefore, appealed to all responsible travel agencies and bus owners to extend cooperation towards the ongoing initiative of transporting stranded people. 

Stating that the bus owners should perform their duty as requisitioned by the district administration, the union cautioned that failing to comply with the directive would invite stern action.

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