File photograph of Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on May 1 said that people from the state stranded in other Northeast states due to the COVID-19 lockdown will be brought back in batches.

Khandu also appealed the people stranded within the Northeast to apply online as directed till the midnight of May 2.

Thereafter, stranded citizens will be brought back in phased manner from other states starting first with those in green zones, the CM informed.

Khandu further said that the nodal officers already appointed state-wise will coordinate and chalk out a detailed plan for bringing back natives of Arunachal stranded outside, adding, Home Commissioner Kaling Tayeng will oversee the entire process as the Chief Nodal Officer.

He, however, reiterated that ban on issuance of Protected Area Permits (PAP) and Inner Line Permits (ILPs) will continue to be in force.

Applications for renewal of already existing permits will also be put on hold till a notification is issued in this regard by the state Home department, he said.

Holding a video conference with ministers, MLAs, deputy commissioners, police officers and health professionals of all the districts, Khandu emphasised that life post lockdown will not remain same as the threat of COVID-19 is of permanent nature till the virus is eradicated in future.

He pointed that there’s an immediate need for full preparedness of the state machinery to deal with the incoming stranded citizens and directed the DCs and concerned legislators, particularly of the districts bordering Assam, to physically visit and make sure that all quarantine facilities near the entry points are fully equipped as per protocol.

“Once these quarantine facilities start to house incoming Arunachalees there should not be any complaints for lack of facilities like water supply, electricity, toilets, etc,” he said and suggested formation of local committees to monitor and oversee all such quarantine facilities.

Arunachal Pradesh has 25 entry points with check-gates along the border with Assam. Of these only 12 are functional at the moment as a precautionary measure since the lockdown.

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