COVID-19 Crisis: Requisition of buses to pick up returnees from Jiribam tough task

Six buses left Kangpokpi at 7:40 am on Saturday for Jiribam to bring back stranded people to Kangpokpi who are expected to reach Jiribam railway station in the coming few days.

Requisitioning of vehicles for the transportation of returnees arriving at Jiribam railway station from other parts of the country to their home districts in Manipur amid lockdown is posing a new challenge, as most of the vehicle drivers had gone back to their respective villages, sources said.

On Saturday morning, six buses left Kangpokpi at around 7:40 am for Jiribam to bring back stranded people to Kangpokpi who are expected to reach Jiribam railway station in the coming few days.

The requisition of these six buses took one whole night. Kangpokpi police led by Additional SP Lalminlen Misao and coordination conducted by OC Kangpokpi, Inspector Khogen and 2nd OC Minboi Vaiphei under the supervision of SP Hemant Pandey said they spent the whole night on Friday to arrange the buses to pick up the stranded returnees to the district.

The information to requisition the buses was received at around 8.30 pm on Friday night with the instruction that the buses have to reach Langjing at Imphal latest by 10.00 am on Saturday. Despite the late information, Kangpokpi police swung into action immediately with the assistance of the local youth KYU and some district administration staffs.

From Hengjang near Saparmeina Police Station to Kangpokpi district headquarters, the police started the requisition and finally culminated at around 7 am on Saturday morning at Kangpokpi district headquarters.

Later, at around 7:40 am, the six buses were flagged off from Kangpokpi police check post at IT Road after providing fuel by the Kangpokpi Police.

All the bus drivers and handymen were also provided full Personal Protection Kit by the Kangpokpi Police while they were also clearly briefed by OC Kangpokpi to take personal care and protection while ferrying the stranded people.

Speaking to the media, inspector Khogen, OC Kangpokpi Police station said, “We had a hard time to requisition the vehicle but we are extremely happy upon the vehicle owners and the drivers and handymen who understood the situation and came forward to serving the people at this critical juncture”. He wished them good luck and happy journey in bringing back the people to the district headquarters.

Meanwhile, the vehicle owners of Kangpokpi said had they been given at least one day ahead for preparation, they could have made better arrangement for the drivers and handymen along with the vehicles. They said it is next to impossible to bring back the drivers and handymen at odd hours within few hours.

The bus owners also said that since the beginning of the lockdown, the vehicles were kept standstill while the drivers and handymen had gone to their respective places to find other temporary jobs to earn their livelihood.

They also said that the batteries of the vehicles went down and was difficult to restart them. Had they received information in advance they could have prepared better, they expressed. Kangpokpi Police had to push some of the buses for the engines to start.

Meanwhile, that three buses with 84 stranded people from Chennai had left Jiribam for Kangpokpi district headquarters, sources said.

First Published:May 24, 2020, 11:59 a.m.

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