SILCHAR, May 15 - As many as 46 stranded passengers belonging to Barak Valley disembarked from the Chennai-Bhairavi Shramik Express 06129 which reached Badarpur on Friday.
This is the first lot of passengers who reached Barak Valley by train, after being stranded outside the North East since enforcement of the lockdown.
While officials from the Cachar district administration claimed that nine passengers were received and taken for swab sample collection at the ISBT via bus from the railway station, the Karimganj administration received 37 passengers who came by the train. However, there were no passengers on the arrival list for Hailakandi district, sources informed.
As per the new SOP on COVID-19 for passengers reaching by trains at different destinations, divyang persons, minors, pregnant women and elderly persons above 75 years are to be sent for home quarantine after colelction of swab samples.
Accordingly, out of the nine passengers, one divyang person was sent home while eight others have been kept at institutional quarantine centres.
Karimganj Deputy Commissioner Anbamuthan MP said swab samples of the passengers belonging to Karimganj district were being collected and sent to the Silchar Medical College and Hospital (SMCH) for tests.
MP hopeful of package for paper mills: At a time when small and medium industrial units are hoping to get support from the government after Prime Minister Narendra Modi�s announcement of Rs 20 lakh crore package, employees of the closed paper mills are also hoping for some respite.
Responding to a question on will the mega package solve the crisis faced by the Cachar and Nagaon units of the Hindustan Paper Corporation, Silchar MP Dr Rajdeep Roy said that being a resident of Cachar district, he was hopeful that the government would grant a survival package for the two paper mills, which have been closed since October 2015 and March 2017 respectively.
He urged local youths to chalk out indigenous business strategies and assured that facilities have been smoothened for banks to offer loans and the government would grant them guarantees.
Manabendra Chakraborty, president of the Joint Action Committee of Recognised Unions, said that the announcement by the Prime Minister to boost the economy and to make the country self-reliant was the need of the hour and they have welcomed it with great expectations.
�What the Prime Minister has announced is the need of the hour, especially after the body blows to the economy by the COVID-19 pandemic. We also hope that the Prime Minister is aware of his promise made at Kalinagar in 2016 to revive the mills and restart production. The heavy industry provided employment to over two lakh people and boosted the rural economy. Before its closure, the Cachar Paper Mill was a mini-ratna industry and the paper was exported worldwide earning huge revenue for the government. We hope that with proactive initiative by the Prime Minister, the mills would reopen and add to his vision of self reliance,� Chakraborty said.