AIZAWL, May 15 - A Shramik Special train today brought back 833 stranded Mizoram residents from Chennai, after traversing more than 30,000 km.
The train reached the Bairabi Railway Station in Kolasib district at 11 am. The passengers were received by Kolasib DC Dr H Lalthangliana, other government officials and police personnel in personal protective equipment.
The passengers came from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. The train had left Chennai at 11.10 pm on Wednesday. Though 975 people from Mizoram are reportedly stranded in the two States, 833 have returned and the remaining 142 have chosen to remain there due to personal reasons.
Among the returnees, 330 are from Aizawl, 75 from Champhai, 19 from Hnahthial, 12 from Khawzawl, 44 from Kolasib, 48 from Lawngtlai, 48 from Lunglei, 76 from Mamit, 28 from Serchhip and 127 from Siaha districts.
From the train station, they were taken to their respective districts by buses where they will be quarantined for 14 days.
Before they departed from the station, the passengers were subjected to thermal screening. Officials said those returning from the red zones would undergo rapid tests.
Most of the returnees are students and workers employed in private firms. They said they had landed in trouble due to the lockdown as they became jobless and were unable to pay rent, and on a few occasions, they also faced discrimination due to their facial features. Some of them, whose employers were kind, received their salaries for the month of March, while others had no such luck.
A cancer patient who arrived on the special train was transported from the station in an ambulance.
So far, over 9,000 Mizoram residents stranded in different States and Union Territories (UTs) have reported to the State Government. Officials said stranded residents from other States/UTs would be brought back later.