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30,000 stranded people entered UT so far: Admin

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Special trains to bring back stranded residents; administration to bear the cost

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Friday said nearly 30,000 people have returned to the union territory from the entry point of Lakhanpur and arrangements are being made to bring back others stranded outside Jammu and Kashmir in an orderly manner.

The nodal officer for movement of stranded people of Jammu and Kashmir said social distancing norms are being adhered to and tests carried out to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the UT.

“Approximately 30,000 people have entered the UT, with proper regulation, from Lakhanpur (lone entry point to Jammu and Kashmir),” the nodal officer said.

He said after the announcement made by the Ministry of Home Affairs on April 29, allowing movement of stranded people with certain conditions, the government issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) a day later.

“Further, the government has collected details of stranded people who wish to return to the UT by providing web links for registration. Arrangements are being made for their arrival in an orderly manner while adhering to the social distancing norms and undertaking testing so as to ensure that timely action is taken to prevent any spread of COVID-19 in Jammu and Kashmir,” the nodal officer said.

Migrant workers, students and stranded people from Himachal Pradesh and Punjab have already returned to J&K over the last few days, he said.

Stranded people in Haryana, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh and Delhi have been permitted to return, in a regulated manner, with effect from May 7 and this process will continue for a week, the officer said.

He said train services are being arranged for stranded people of Jammu and Kashmir, especially those from far off places. The government has decided to bear the train fares of the returnees and they do not need to make any payment for the tickets, he added.

“Necessary coordination with the sending states as also with the railway authorities is going on,” the nodal officer said. He, however, cautioned that anybody found moving without passes will be quarantined for 21 days in Kathua.

The nodal officer said the government is fully aware of the details of the stranded people of J&K at various places across the country, not only through the web links but also from the data shared by the sending states/UTs.

“Immediately on finalization of arrangements, they shall be notified about the issuance of passes and travel details. In case any difficulties are being faced at the current place of their stay, they may contact the helpline numbers that have been publicised by the government,” he added.

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