TODAY -

MPCC appeals Govt to bear travel expenses
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, May 04 2020: The Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has appealed to the State Government to bear travel expenses for Manipuri people stranded at different parts of the country on account of the COVID-19 lockdown for their return journey from Guwahati to Imphal.

Speaking to media persons at Congress Bhavan here this afternoon, MPCC senior vice-president Tongbram Mangibabu noted that all the 87 Manipuri people who were brought back to the State at the initiative of the State Government have been tested negative for COVID-19.Hailing the State Government for its initiative to bring back Manipuri people stranded at different parts of the country, Mangibabu said that there have been complaints of the bus fare being too high.

For the 487 Kms long journey from Guwahati to Imphal, each passenger was charged Rs 3000 to Rs 3500, he said.

On the other hand, the Government of Assam brought 391 Assamese people stranded at Kota, Rajasthan to Guwahati and other district quarters by bus and each passenger was charged Rs 7000.The distance between Kota and Guwahati is 1990 Kms which means the travel fare charged by the Government of Assam is Rs 3.52 per Km.

The Governments of Uttar Pradesh and Maharastra took back 7500 and 1780 people respectively to their native States from Kota by bus free of cost.

Manipuri people have been stranded at different parts of the country not for any other reason but the COVID-19 lockdown, and most of them are students.

As they have been stranded for too long, whatever amount of money they had, had been exhausted, Mangibabu said.

He then asked the State Government if there is any problem for the State Government to bear travel expenses of the stranded Manipuri people.

He went on to question why the Government of Manipur would not be able to bear the travel expenses while other States could.

The State Government can definitely bear travel expenses for the stranded people at least for the Guwahati-Imphal journey, he asserted.

It is being speculated that around 30,000 Manipuri people are stranded in different parts of the country and it would take around Rs 5/6 crore in sponsoring the last leg of their return journey from Guwahati to Imphal.

The State may sanction this amount from its own exchequer or the Chief Minister's COVID-19 Relief Fund, said the MPCC vice-president.

Dr Kh Ratankumar who is also a vice-president of MPCC said that how much relief items have been distributed to the masses under PMGKY during the lockdown is highly questionable.

PMGKY has many provisions such as insurance of corona warriors (doctors, nurses and paramedical staff), distribution of rice to poor people free of cost, distribution of LPG refills to beneficiaries of Ujjwala Yojana free of cost, monetary aid through bank accounts and hiking of MGNREGS wages.

However, it remains highly questionable whether the State authorities strictly comply with the directives issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs regarding PMGKY, Dr Ratankumar added.


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