Top officials in Assam, including chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, participated in a meeting in Guwahati on May 1 to discuss the modalities to bring in stranded people from the state due to the nationwide lockdown.
While welcoming the central government’s decision to extend the nationwide lockdown till May 17, the meeting decided to review the relaxations notified by the Union government for implementation in the state and to inform the public accordingly.
The meeting also discussed various issues related to the lockdown currently being enforced in the state.
Principal Secretary of Finance department, Sameer Sinha, informed the chief minister about the steps to be taken to deal with issues related to movement of people who are stranded in different parts of the country.
Further, in pursuance of the central government’s notification to appoint nodal officer to deal with the matter of migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded at different places, Assam government designated GP Singh, Additional DGP (Law & Order), as the Nodal Officer for the entire exercise.
Besides, Harmeet Singh, Additional DGP (Security), is designated as alternate Nodal Officer.
Minister of Health & Finance Himanta Biswa Sarma, Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, Minister of State for Health Pijush Hazarika, Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna, DGP Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta and senior officials of the state government were present in the meeting.
Earlier on May 1, Sarma had hinted that the state will bring back the people in batches, with the exercise likely to commence with the people stuck in other Northeast states soon.
He emphasized on the need to bring back the people in batches to balance the quarantine facilities available in the state and mode of transportation at disposal.
For people in other NE states, the government was in talks with Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) for sending buses to fetch them. For cities further away but from where road travel is feasible, like Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata, etc, the government could hire buses there to bring the people.
“For people in western and southern parts, road travel is not feasible. We will have to request the Railways,” he said, adding that the state government has already put in request for special flights from Mumbai to evacuate patients stranded there.