Chaos in Bengaluru railway station as passengers protest institutional quarantine

Passengers arriving from the first special train to the State from New Delhi at the Bengaluru Krantivira Sangolli Rayanna Railway Station on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

The first special train from New Delhi to Bengaluru, with 553 passengers, pulled into Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna Railway Station on Thursday morning at around 7.30 a.m.

Also read: First train from Delhi carrying over 900 stranded people reaches Bengaluru

But despite elaborate arrangements at the station, such as one screening booth per coach, and more than 500 officials and staff from South-Western Railways, the BBMP, the Health Department, and the police on duty, there was chaos after passengers claimed that they had not been made aware of the mandatory institutional quarantine. 

Within hours after the screening commenced, around 140 passengers began protesting and refused to check themselves into designated quarantine facilities in hotels, said officials.

The situation was chaotic as many insisted that they be allowed to quarantine themselves at home while officials refused to change the rules. 

After hours of protests, by the end of the day, all the passengers, barring 19, agreed to the terms of the quarantine. Senior officials intervened to convince them.

Watch | Passengers protesting at Bengaluru City Railway station over mandatory institutional quarantine

E. Vijaya, Chief PRO of SWR, in a statement said that transportation was arranged for the remaining 19 people by attaching an extra coach to the Bengaluru-Delhi passenger train that left around 8.30 p.m on Thursday. Some of them will deboard at Secunderabad. 

According to officials, in all, 507 people opted for institutional quarantine and of them 203 took the free government quarantine facilities. 

The rest are in hotels identified by BBMP after agreeing to bear the accommodation cost. 

Around 20-odd passengers hailed from Tamil Nadu, and had inter-State passes to return to their hometowns. 

In a video message, BBMP commissioner B.H. Anil Kumar termed the protest as unacceptable and warned that action will be taken in future. 

“We will take legal action against those who fail to adhere to the health protocol brought out by the State government,” he said.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 12:35:08 AM |

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