Number of stranded people to be evacuated by Uttarakhand to fall as Centre tweaks rules

The number of stranded residents to be evacuated by the Uttarakhand government from other states is likely to come down significantly after the Union ministry of home affairs issued fresh guidelines on the return of migrants during the lockdown, officials said Monday.

According to the Central government’s new guidelines, only those migrants stranded either in shelter homes or enroute are allowed to be brought back by the respective state governments.

Till date, about 1.57 lakh residents of Uttarakhand stranded in other states have registered themselves on the government website to return. The state government is bringing them back in state transport corporation buses arranged for the same.

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A senior government official privy to the development said on the condition of anonymity, “After the new guidlines the number of people to be brought back will surely come down. As per it, those living in their relative’s house or any other accommodation where they are facing no major problems will not be brought back as of now. Those stranded in shelter homes or relief centres will only be brought in the initial phase.”

The official added, “In the registration process, it was not required for the migrant to mention where he is staying at present. But after this new guidelines, we might have to initiate the registration process again to filter out those falling under it. This will certainly reduce the number from the total registered migrants of about 1.57 lakh.”

Ridhim Aggrawal, deputy inspector general, law and order and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) said “The evacuation process is ongoing for the stranded residents of the state in which the new guidelines would be strictly adhered to.”

Aggrawal, however, couldn’t reveal the amended figure of the total number of migrants to be brought back based on the new guidelines.

“So far the state has brought back about 2,700 migrants mainly from Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh (UP). However, the new figure of the total number of migrants to be brought back is not ascertained as of now but is likely to go down,” she said.

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