GUWAHATI, April 17 - Considering the strategic importance of the Eastern and Northern sectors, the Centre has allowed troop movement to North India and Northeast even amidst the lockdown. More than 500 personnel from Northeast, currently stranded at places outside the State where they had gone for training, are being sent back in a special train amid extraordinary precautions in view of the outbreak of COVID-19.
The train is likely to arrive in Guwahati in a couple of days, but the Army personnel who return will have to be in 14-day quarantine.
�Even amidst the lockdown, the movement of the personnel was approved at the highest level, in coordination with the health and railway ministries considering the strategic importance of the Eastern and Northern sectors,� a defence source said.
The Army personnel had gone to the Army Training Establishments at Bangalore, Belgaum and Secundrabad for their routine training which began before the spread of COVID-19 in the country. However, in view of the coronavirus outbreak, the training sessions were curtailed, but the personnel remained stranded at those places.
�These personnel had completed their 14-day quarantine in those places and their health check-up done.
After returning also, the personnel will have to be in quarantine in their respective units,� the source said.
The personnel will disembark from the train at various places, starting from New Jalpaiguri and then proceed to their units in convoys.
All possible precautions as part of COVID-19 management, including disinfection of the platform, bogies and baggage, were carried out in addition to establishment of a sanitization tunnel. Social distance is being ensured while entraining and screening.
A similar special train with approximately 950 Army personnel, who have completed professional courses at Bangalore, Belgaum and Secundrabad, and due to rejoin units deployed in operational areas in North India, started from Bangalore today.