1,486 stranded HP residents return from Goa in special train

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Shimla, May 15 (PTI) A total of 1,486 people from Himachal Pradesh stranded in Goa due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown arrived here in a special train on Friday, an official spokesperson said.

The train arrived at Una railway station in the morning, Una Deputy Commissioner Sandeep Kumar said.

This was the second special train bringing back stranded HP residents to their state. Earlier, 642 people from Karnataka returned to HP in a special train on Wednesday.

Two more special trains will bring back more state residents from Maharashtra and Chennai in the coming days, Kumar said.

Of the 1,486 passengers arriving from Goa, 415 were from Mandi, 397 from Kullu, 322 were from Kangra, 128 from Chamba, 80 from Shimla, 53 from Hamirpur, 37 from Solan, 24 from Bilaspur, 20 from Sirmaur, 7 from Una, two from Lahaul-Spiti and one from Kinnaur, he said.

The passengers were provided face masks, hand sanitisers, water and food packets before being sent to their home districts in Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) buses, Kumar said.

Superintendent of Police Karthikeyan Gokulchandran, Additional Deputy Commissioner Arindam Chaudhary and Additional Superintendent of Police Vinod Dhiman were also present at the station to ensure proper arrangements were in place.

The DC thanked Bhadsali's Radha Soami Satsang Ghar secretary Gurmukh Singh for providing 2,100 food packets to passengers and employees at the railway station.

The returnees will have to remain in quarantine for 14 days, he added.

Neelam Devi from Kangra district's Paprola thanked the state government for making special arrangements that enabled her and her husband along with others to return home. She had gone to Goa to accompany her husband who works there but the couple got stuck due to the lockdown.

The special train was run after Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur had made a request to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal. PTI DJI HDA