Safety of lakhs of people important: CM
ITANAGAR, May 14: Chief Minister Pema Khandu said that the state government is planning to bring back people to Arunachal in a staggered manner.
“We have taken the decision to bring back our people in a staggered manner, considering the safety of the lakhs of people back home,” the CM said, addressing a press conference at the civil secretariat on Thursday.
On being asked whether the state’s stranded people, including students, would be evacuated by trains, he said the state would not demand a dedicated train service to evacuate stranded students as Arunachal would be unable to handle the entry of thousands of people at a time.
“I would discourage returning by road as there are chances of Covid-19 infection. However, we are ensuring that those who are coming on their own are quarantined,” he said.
The CM acknowledged the services of the frontline workers, police personnel, district administrations, NGOs and several organizations, including women’s welfare organizations, in keeping the state Covid-19-free, and urged the organizations and village committees to ensure that people under home quarantine follow the procedures.
He said the decision to make quarantine mandatory for all returnees has been taken to ensure the safety of the state’s people.
“The battle against Covid-19 will continue and will go on for long; so the people need to learn to live with Covid-19 alongside their daily activities while observing safety measures,” Khandu said.
Reacting to the widespread racism against people of the Northeast in various parts of India during the lockdown, Khandu condemned the racist attacks, and appealed to the respective state nodal officers to ensure the safety of the people of the region.
When asked about the state’s financial position, the chief minister said the Covid-19 crisis would affect the state’s development.
“New and big projects would face a difficult time. However, so far we do not have a situation where it would affect the salaries of government staffs,” he said.
Khandu expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for announcing the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package, and expressed hope that the Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-reliant India) programme would benefit young entrepreneurs engaged in several sectors in Arunachal.