Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh

Imphal: As part of its continuous outreach initiative to citizens stranded outside Manipur due to COVID-19 lockdown, chief minister N Biren Singh on Wednesday announced to bear the travel fare for those people returning home by train.

The decision was taken during the cabinet meeting held in Imphal. It also coincided with the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) announcement on Tuesday to take care of the travel expenses of those stranded natives in different parts of the country who are planning to come back home.

The government also took decision to pay Rs 200 each per day to those returnees during their community quarantine duration.

The state government also decided to shut down Ema Keithel (Mother’s Market), Paona bazaar, Thangal bazaar and other main markets in Imphal as precautionary measures and in consideration of the stranded persons arriving in the state with immediate effect till May 17.

The decision was taken following the state witnessed heavy traffic jams in some parts of Imphal during the last two days’ lockdown relaxation, causing panic among the people for fear of the coronavirus transmission.

However, agricultural activities in the rural areas will be exempted from the shutdown, it said.

So far, Manipur has brought altogether 112 stranded citizens home in two batches from Guwahati. In the first batch, 92 stranded persons were brought home by four buses from Manipur Bhawan in Guwahati on Saturday, whereas another 20 reached Imphal on Tuesday.

As per official reports, all the evacuees are on strict home quarantine as per the MHA protocol.

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