BJP's Shanta Kumar express concern over returnees violating social distancing on HP-Punjab border

Shimla, Apr 29 (PTI) Veteran BJP leader Shanta Kumar has expressed concern over violation of social distancing on Himachal Pradesh-Punjab border by residents of HP while returning to their native places.

As many as 23,361 people from Himachal Pradesh, who were stranded outside the state due to the coronavirus lockdown, have returned to their native places in their own vehicles from April 26 to 28 after getting e-passes from the respective district magistrates.

Amid recent reports of violation of social distance on HP-Punjab border near Una's Mehatpur barrier by stranded HP residents on their way back home, the BJP leader expressed his concern regarding the issue in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

The former chief minister stated that he was worried due to the crowd and carelessness.

'People in large numbers have started gathering on the state border for returning to HP, medical examination of so many people is not possible,' he added.

Urging Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur to reconsider his decision of providing full relaxation to stranded HP residents to return, Kumar advised him to allow only a limited number of people daily to return so that they may easily undergo medical check-up while entering the state.

Kumar also advised the CM to lodge such HP residents in institutional quarantine instead of asking them to remain in home quarantine.

He said, 'They have been asked to remain at home for 14 days. They have not come to remain in isolation. Following rules is not possible. Entry for those coming from outside should be only to the extent daily which may be examined and may be kept in quarantine as per rules.' Meanwhile, Anil Rolta, a resident of Rampur Bushahr in Shimla district, also raised the issue of the decision of keeping in home quarantine all those who recently returned to HP.

He said, 'The administration has completely failed here. What is the use of home quarantine if one of his family members can go out and spread the disease. The rich are allowed to be in home quarantine whereas the poor are locked up in the quarantine centres like schools with zero facilities.' Referring to the violation of social distancing in several markets, Shanta Kumar further stated in his post that excess crowd is seen on the roads in Palampur.

However, he also congratulated CM Thakur and the people of the state for the overall strict implementation of the lockdown until the government allowed the stranded HP residents to return home without any checks. PTI DJI HDA