The Government of Manipur on May 10 issued a set of directives or Standard Operating Procedure ( SOP) for the people who are homebound from other states via trains. In a notice issued by the Home Ministry of the State, all persons who wish to return home via trains have been urged to adhere strictly to a certain set of rules and regulations.
It is pertinent to mention here that at 8:00 pm on Sunday, a Shramik Special train carrying Manipur citizens departed from Chennai to Jiribam in Manipur carrying 1,081 passengers. According to the official Twitter handle of the Southern Railway, the passengers were checked for signs and symptoms of the coronavirus via thermal screening and social distancing was ensured. In an interesting move, the Railway authorities chose to keep the middle berth vacant as a precautionary move.
SOP for Stranded Manipuris who wish to Return Home:
Firstly, the citizens stranded outside have to compulsorily register their names in the Government of Manipur's portal www.tengbang.in. They must also register in the web portals of the states where they are presently located.
The State from where the train originates plays a major role in coordination with the Manipur Government and Ministry of Railways.
Since the trains are run on non-stop mode from station of origin to station of destination, the first priority shall be given to locations where the number of people stranded are "sufficient in number" to run a train. Preference will be given to stranded passengers in order of priority as per the registration done in the websites.
The notification further informed that once both the Governments agree to run the train, the probable passenger list will be finalized, and the selected passengers will be informed by the respective state Governments. Thereafter, the screening of the short-listed passengers will be done by the respective state Governments and only the medically fit people will be allowed to travel. "Anyone having symptoms or suspected to be infected or from the containment zone will not be allowed to board the train. The coaches and seat/berth numbers will also be assigned by the authorities of originating state/railways.
The final list of passengers selected by the State Government will be notified in the official website www.tengbang.in.
Meanwhile, the passengers have been urged to "make adequate arrangements for food and water for themselves as the train will not stop in any railway station and will be run non-stop from the place of origin to Jiribam in Manipur. Moreover, the passengers have also been urged to wear masks and practice social distancing norms for the duration of the journey.
Once the journey comes to an end at the Jiribam Railway Station, the passengers of the trains will be screened at counters set up by the authorities. In case the train arrives in the evening, the screening may be done inside the coaches and in such a scenario, the passengers will have to stay in the train overnight.