Those stranded in NE states to bear their own expenses
IMPHAL: Following announcement by the opposition Congress party to bear train expenses for migrant workers, the state Cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval to a policy for the government to bear all the train expenses for Manipuris stranded in various parts of the country, except for Red zone districts, to reach till northeast region.
For those Manipuris who are currently marooned in other North east states, they will have to bear their travel expenses by themselves.
The cabinet meeting was held at the Chief Minister secretariat from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM with Chief Minister N Biren in the chair and adopted around five resolutions.
Briefing about the meeting, Chief Minister N Biren said that as per guidelines issued by the Home ministry, the state government will give priority to Manipuri citizens, who are stranded and stuck in various states due to sudden announcement of the nationwide lockdown to contain COVID-19 outbreak, while bringing them back home. State Government will bear all train expenses for the home bound people from the state till they cross into their halting stations in the North East states. State cabinet decided to bear the travel expenses for them as the present situation is a national disaster. For Manipuris stranded in Northeast states, the government will not bear their travel expenses to return home and they will have to bear it by themselves. However, State Government has issued them necessary permits to return home. Earlier, State government had evacuated 84 stranded Manipuris from Manipur Bhavan, Guwahati. Government bore fooding and lodging expenses for the said 84 persons while they were staying in Guwahati for around 37 days.
Parents and guardians here must be worried about their sons and daughters stranded in other parts of the country. State Government is making all out efforts to bring them back home. It has been compelled to wait for the right time to bring them back as evacuation activities are to be carried out under a guideline of the Centre. Necessary preparations have been made to quarantine the returnees, for which local MLAs and local clubs have started identifying the community quarantine centres in their respective Assembly segments. Concerned Deputy Commissioners, health experts are on hectic inspection of the proposed community quarantine centres. For bedding materials of the returnees, concerned families will bear it while state Government will bear the expenses of masks, hand sanitizers and fooding. Government will allot Rs.200 per head for fooding during their stay in the community quarantine centres, said the Chief minister.
Chief Minister said, the state was luckily enlisted in the green zone after the two COVID-19 positive patients were finally tested negative due to proper treatment and skill of the medical doctors and nurses. However, the state still needs precautionary measures to avoid further infection from the virus.
Cabinet decided to extend the lockdown in the state in view of the large number of stranded Manipuris that are to be brought back. Government will take up proper measures to ensure that the people do not face shortage of essential commodities during the lockdown, Chief minister said and appealed to the people to extend all possible support to the steps being taken up by the Government for public safety, citing that saving life of the people is top priority of the Government.
Stating that state government has been strictly monitoring the border areas, particularly Indo-Myanmar border, he further mentioned that hectic security vigil has been maintained at border entry points like Molcham, Behiang, Mao, Jiribam etc. along with programs for spreading awareness to the people in border villages. Truck drivers and handymen who are bringing in commodities from outside are medically screened at entry points and ISBT.
Chief Minister appealed to the people to encourage the frontline warriors like Doctors, Nurses, Police, Drivers and Handymen who are performing their jobs with dedication amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chief Minister further said that state government earlier decided to relax lockdown as the state was enlisted in the green zone following an advisory of the Centre. The state consultative committee on COVID-19 on Tuesday reviewed the situation of the state after relaxation of the lockdown. However, public movement on the street, purchase of essential commodities from the market saw complete failure of social distancing. Most people fail to wear face masks despite Government advisory, prompting the government to extend the lockdown till May 17 to contain spread of the virus, added the CM.
The cabinet also decided to accept the NPA demands of the doctors as a special pay.
The cabinet has also decided to shut down Ema Keithel, Paona Bazaar, Thangal Bazaar, and all the other main markets within the Imphal as a precautionary measure and in consideration of the stranded citizens arriving from other states. However, rural areas will be exempted from the shut down.