Agartala, May 15: About 6700 people of Tripura have got stranded in different parts of West Bengal,mostly in Kolkata, due to lockdown,according to an official record. Around 300 people have managed to stay in four Tripura Bhavans in Kolkata and the state government has provided them free accommodation and food. However, a large number of people who have been stranded outside the Bhavans alleged that adequate care was not taken.
“We are getting distressed calls everyday from West Bengal and the Tripura government is ready to run special trains from different locations of Bengal but neither the Mamata Banerjee government is permitting the train nor doing enough for the distressed people stranded in different parts of the state. We wanted to pay the train fare to bring back our people but the West Bengal government did not cooperate like Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Assam,” said Tripura government spokesperson and education minister Ratan Lal Nath.
He claimed that Tripura was the only state in the country where about 33000 stranded migrant people have been provided free ration, cooked food, cash of Rs 2000 each, and now has been arranging free train travel for returning to their home state. None of the migrant or stranded people in Tripura has faced any problem of food and staying because besides the government, a number of individuals, clubs, NGOs, and civil society groups are taking care of them. “We request them to provide at least safe stay and serve food to our people stranded in other states. The story of West Bengal, which the people of Tripura consider as their second home, is really pathetic during lockdown and expect appropriate steps from the Mamata Banerjee government,” Nath added.
Meanwhile, Manasi Roy, a middle-aged housewife of Durga Chowmuhani area here along with three of her family members has been spending nights under open sky outside the Kolkata railway station for the past 53 days, has urged the Tripura government to help them return. They had gone to Kolkata for the treatment of her 14 –yr old son along with her ailing husband and two young sons in February. The youngest one has been suffering from a throat tumor and treated at R G Kar Medical College where he was scheduled for surgery but Covid lockdown had spoiled the plan.
They were released from the hospital on March 25 last before lockdown started with the advice of surgery after six months if the situation improves. On the next day, they were evicted from the hotel and all five of them took shelter in the parking lot outside Shyambazar station and since then, they have been spending nights under the sky. The family has transport business in Agartala but the West Bengal government is not allowing anybody to move out except some special cases recommended by other state governments and who could manage their own vehicles, she said adding, “ We cannot afford to hire a vehicle at one lakh rupees to travel down-home or to manage a pass. Unless the central government makes arrangements for us like hundreds of stranded people can in no way go back home.” (UNI)