The first special train to Karnataka arrived at Bengaluru City Railway Station from New Delhi at 7.15 am on May 14 with around 1,000 passengers onboard. They were screened for COVID-19 on arrival by health department officials.
Around 200 passengers, held a protest on the platform alleging the state government did not inform them about the mandatory institutional quarantine while booking tickets. They also claimed that they were not informed about the quarantine and could not afford a hotel room for 14 days. These passengers then went back via Delhi-Bengaluru Superfast Express Special.
People who travel from outside have the provision for free quarantine at schools, colleges etc arranged by the government or they can choose to stay in hotels arranged nearby, but need to pay accordingly.
"Few of the passengers have agreed to undergo quarantine, but others wanted to return to Delhi. The Railways has made arrangements to them to be sent back," Indian Express quoted COVID-19 spokesperson and Karnataka education minister S Suresh Kumar said.
"At the Delhi railway station, it was clearly announced by the Karnataka government that all passengers would have to undergo institutional quarantine once they arrive in Bengaluru. After this announcement, few passengers cancelled their tickets and went back to their homes. Some people who were on the waiting list have come in their place. Hence, these people might not have gone through the announcements," he added.
Reportedly, the district authorities have booked as many as 4,200 rooms in 90 hotels around the Railway Station in Majestic area.
"The passengers are quarantined in these hotels and will have to bear the cost. We have booked 90 hotels in and around the railway station for institutional quarantine," Deputy Commissioner of Bengaluru Urban district G L Shivamurthy was quoted as saying.
The Karnataka government had arranged around 15 Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses to take these passengers to the quarantine centres. All passengers were directed to download three mobile apps – Quarantine Watch, Apthamitra, and Aarogya Setu.
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