Hotel Pine Ridge in Itanagar, one of the paid quarantine facilities in capital complex Credit: EastMojo image

Itanagar: The capital complex administration’s claim of providing adequate support and facilities to the returnees in quarantine centres has once again been questioned by some students who were allegedly left without food and drinking water for almost a day.

As per Tsering Chotten, one of the returnees from Shillong, she and her friends had no food and water and were also asked to share rooms with another male student who was a Guwahati returnee in one of the paid quarantine facilities selected by the government.

Shillong falls under green zone, unlike Guwahati.

Speaking with EastMojo from the paid quarantine facility in Itanagar, Chotten said: “It’s been more than a day that we haven’t had a proper meal. The last time we ate was a packed refreshment during our journey.”

State legislative assembly COVID-19 control room volunteers at the hotel to provide immediate relief like food and water etc to quarantine inmates staying in the hotel

Chotten is studying tourism and travel management in Shillong.

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“Following our journey of around 12-13 hours we reached the quarantine facility in Police Training Centre, Banderdewa on Thurday (May 28) at around 4 pm. There we were asked to fill some documents and we chose to stay in a paid quarantine facility. A friend and I who had returned together check Hotel Pbyss as our quarantine centre because rooms were already booked for by our parents in that hotel. We reached Itanagar at around 9 pm, but we were surprisingly taken to a different hotel (Pine Ridge),” she said.

“It was already late for us to move around and as we were exhausted and hungry, we decided to check in. However, to our utter shock the hotel management wanted us to share the room with male students, one who had come from Shillong and another who came from Guwahati,” Chotten said.

After some argument the room issue was sorted, she added.

Chotten said, “When they enquired about dinner, the hotel staff told them that no food would be provided as per the district administration’s order.”

“We understand this rule about food, however, when we asked for water the hotel staff gave us tap water to drink. We slept with an empty stomach,” she said.

Timothy Murtem, a Shillong returnee who is also in the same hotel as Chotten, said: “According to the SoPs, returnees are kept in a zone wise quarantine. However, here I was asked to stay with a student who came from Guwahati when we both told the hotel staff that it was too risky to share a room.”

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“I don’t think that the hotel management and staff have been properly briefed regarding the SoPs. I expected a lot from our government and local administration but the picture is completely different here,” Timothy said.

Phurpa Tsering Thongchi, Chotten’s father, said: “Many who are returning to the state opt for paid quarantine so that they can stay comfortably, however, my daughter and her friends were not even provided the basic facilities.”

“I don’t even know whom shall we blame here? Is it the government which is not taking the present situation seriously or is it those who have been given responsibilities to manage the situation,” he questioned.

Hotel Pine Ridge in Itanagar

Chotten, meanwhile, said they decided to call the state Covid-19 control room for help on Friday.

“Following our desperate call, we were served parantha and sabji and few bottles of packaged drinking water by the volunteers of legislative assembly control room. We are really grateful for their help,” Chotten said.

PN Thongchi, the nodal officer of state legislative assembly control room, said: “Though providing food and relief is not a part of the control room’s job, however, after listening to their situation, my team thought of at least providing them with food and water.”

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“The government has deputed nodal officers to look after paid quarantine facilities and they will look into the matter now,”Thongchi said.

When EastMojo contacted Subu Lazi, the nodal officer for Hotel Pine Ridge, he said he only takes care of the accommodation part, which includes room arrangements and allotments but not the food.

Capital Complex deputy commissioner Komkar Dulom refused to comment on the matter.

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