Nineteen of the passengers from the national capital who staged a protest against their institutional quarantine at KSR Bengaluru railway station were sent back to Delhi on KSR Bengaluru City-New Delhi Superfast AC Express (Train No. 02492).
Tension prevailed at the Bengaluru railway station on Thursday, May 14, as hundreds of passengers who were onboard the train from Delhi to Bengaluru protested against the 14-days quarantine period, as enforced by the government on all stranded migrants returning back home in special trains.
Passengers sent back to Delhi
According to the passengers, they were unaware of the institutional quarantining and most of them claimed to have no money to pay for the hotels arranged for their stay. In addition to this, the passengers also accused the government of the poor and unhygienic conditions in the train.
South Western Railway has attached one extra coach to KSR Bengaluru City-New Delhi Superfast AC Express returning to Delhi at 8.30 pm on Thursday to carry back the 19 passengers who refused to undergo the institutional quarantine for 14 days.
"Delhi-KSR Bengaluru train that arrived Bengaluru on Thursday morning had 543 passengers, as confirmed from Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). Out of these 543 persons, about 20 were on transit to other states and left by road to Kerala and Tamil Nadu" said the Indian Railways in a statement.
The passengers had arrived at Bengaluru on Thursday morning at 7.18 am from New Delhi- Bengaluru One-Way Superfast Express Special and staged a protest by holding up inside the waiting room for more than five hours at the railway station.
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 Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) had deployed 15 of its buses for the service with over 4,200 rooms booked in 42 hotels around the Majestic Railway Station.
Passengers against quarantine
According to Deputy Commissioner of Bengaluru Urban district G N Shivamurthy, "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 passengers belonging to Anantapur, Guntakal, Secunderabad, Nagpur, Bhopal and Jhansi were onboard the train.
According to chief public relations officer, SWR, E Vijaya, "We had given option to about 140 passengers however only 19 were willing to travel back and rest have agreed to be under institutional quarantine. Of the 19 passengers, 12 are going to Secunderabad, four to Anantapur, two to Guntakal and one to New Delhi."
The ticket charges were taken by the returnees themselves and an extra coach was thereby added to the train considering the passengers' demand.