Arunachal CM Pema Khandu addressing the press conference on Thursday. Image: Northeast Now
Arunachal CM Pema Khandu addressing the press conference on Thursday. Image: Northeast Now

Arunachal Pradesh government will not demand any dedicated special trains to bring back its people who are stranded in different parts of the country, said chief minister Pema Khandu.

Speaking to reporters in Itanagar on Thursday,  Khandu said the government will instead opt for a staggered evacuation plan to bring them in batches.

He, however, clarified that this in no way meant that government is not ready to bring its people back.

“We will keep bringing our people back depending upon the quarantine facilities we have,” he said.

“I have already spoken to the Assam government to help us in this regard to which they have obliged,” Khandu added.

The chief minister said requests have made to the Assam home commissioner and railways to add additional bogies on the special trains hired by the state which would be specifically for the Arunachalees.

“Also the deputy resident commissioners of Guwahati and Dibrugarh have been given enough manpower and expertise to the help our people with their further travel once they reach Assam,” Khandu said.

Those who desire to return to the state will be soon informed about the train services, he said while appealing the people to avoid using bus services to come back as there were several risks involved.

As per the official count, around 2400 stranded people have so far returned to the state.

The chief minister further said that Covid-19 testing is being aggressively taken up Arunachal Pradesh.

“We have recently installed a TrueNat machine in Naharlagun with the capacity of testing 20 samples in a day,” he said.

The reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) lab installed in Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Sciences is also equipped with new technology that would enhance the testing speed to 200 samples per day,” Khandu added.

The state has so far collected 2483 samples out of which 1904 have tested negative and the results of 579 samples are awaited.

Presently, there are no positive COVID-19 cases in Arunachal Pradesh.

DAMIEN LEPCHA

Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: lepcharaul@gmail.com