Spl train reaches Bengaluru from Delhi, passengers to undergo 14-day quarantinePTI | Bengaluru | Updated: 14-05-2020 10:40 IST | Created: 14-05-2020 10:40 IST
Around 1,000 passengers arrived in Bengaluru from Delhi on Thursday on board the first train to Karnataka since limited rail services resumed in the country, officials said. Soon after arrival at the Bengaluru City Railway Station, the passengers were screened for COVID-19 on the station premises itself, the officials said.
The train that left Delhi on Tuesday at 9.30 pm was scheduled to arrive at 6.40 am on Thursday but was delayed by 40 minutes. According to a senior railway official, the Bengaluru civic agency along with the Karnataka Health Department had set up 10 health check-up counters to screen the passengers.
The passengers were disembarked coach-wise as Railway Protection Force personnel kept a strict vigil on them. "It's heartening that everyone is maintaining discipline and seated inside. No chaos," the South Western Railway public relations officer said.
Once they came out of the platform, they were directed to board the buses ready to take them to the hotels and other institutions, which have been converted into quarantine centres, the officials said. Around 15 buses belonging to the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), a subsidiary of the state government, were deployed at the railway station to take these passengers to the quarantine centres.
Elaborate arrangements were made to receive the passengers. As many as 4,200 rooms were booked in 42 hotels around the Majestic Railway Station.
"We have reserved 90 hotels in and around the railway station. These are for institutional quarantine. The passengers willing to stay in these hotels will have to bear the cost. Separate arrangements have been made for those who don't wish to stay in hotels," the Deputy Commissioner of Bengaluru Urban district G L Shivamurthy said in a video message. He made it clear that everyone coming to Bengaluru will have to compulsorily remain quarantined for 14 days and undergo COVID-19 tests.
General public was not allowed to enter the railway station area. There were complaints galore from the passengers about services inside the train, no prior information about quarantining them and the lack of proper catalogue of hotels.
A passenger complained that she was not informed about quarantining them. "I came here to see my daughter who is unwell. After reaching here, I am told I will have to spend time in quarantine. The Railways should have informed that we will be quarantined," the passenger said.
The woman alleged there were no proper arrangements in the train and said there was no water to drink and wash and the entire bogie was untidy. Another passenger had a grouse that the Railways and the state administration did not provide a proper catalogue of hotels, which have been turned into quarantine rooms.
"When we are paying for the service, we should be provided with catalogue of hotels to select," the passenger stated.PTI GMS SS PTI PTI.