Spending Rs 1.40 lakh on ambulance, 2 families cross 5 states driving for five nights to cover 3,270-km distance from Chennai to Agartala amid COVID-19 lockdown
Agartala: Anxious to return home, two Tripura families took an ambulance drive covering over 3,270 km to reach Agartala from Tamil Nadu’s Chennai after flight tickets were cancelled for two consecutive times.
A resident of Udaipur town in Gomati district, a retired Tripura government employee, Chanchal Majumder, and his wife Ashima Biswa (Majumder), who had recently undergone a brain tumour surgery, decided to take travel on the roadways spending five nights on the way.
Speaking with EastMojo, Majumder said that she took a flight to Chennai on March 22 for her post-surgery checkup in Chennai-based private hospital but after completion of her treatment she was stranded in Chennai far away from home.
“We had a flight for Chennai on March 22 but soon after we entered the airport, people started talking about lockdown. But we decided to travel since we had an appointment with the doctor fixed on March 23. We had our return flight on March 27 but since the lockdown was announced, we got stranded there,” Majumder said.
She also said after they booked a hotel room and booked tickets for the second time for April 15 which was also cancelled due to the extension of the lockdown till May 3.
“We were worried since the pandemic was spreading across the country and being stuck there in the hotel room paying so much money for room rent and food was not easy for us. We meet with another family who also travelled from Tripura. Later, we decided to take an ambulance and return after getting all the clearance from the doctor, hospital and local police,” Majumder added.
The families started their drive on April 15 in the afternoon and crossed over five states including Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Assam and Meghalaya to reach Tripura covering over 3,270 km spending Rs 1.40 lakh on the ambulance fare.
“The ambulance was checked in every district we crossed in the last five days. The health workers deployed in the inter-state checking points also screened us on our way to Agartala and allowed us to travel,” Chanchal said.
He also said that upon their arrival in Tripura’s border Churaibari, the health staff suggested them to stay in 14-day home quarantine but when they finally reached their home town in Udaipur, 60 km from Agartala, the officials asked them to stay in facility quarantine for 14 days.
“We received all the support from the state administration in returning home and now that we have been asked to stay in quarantine for the safety of everyone, we are cooperating with the authorities,” Chanchal added.
A total of five persons from two families, including one heart patient, her husband and attendee traveled all the way from Chennai to Agartala.