Manipur people Stranded in Meghalaya sought evacuation plan from Chief Minister

Imphal: With the increasing uncertainty of the daily activities amid lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic, stranded persons from Manipur who are residing in Meghalaya have sought an evacuation plan from chief minister N Biren Singh.

The Shillong Manipuri Students’ Union (SMSU) in a letter addressed to the CM on April 29 stated that over 300 people, including students, migrant workers and families, are stranded in Meghalaya due to the ongoing nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. The living condition of the stranded persons, especially the student community, might get worse if the lockdown is extended since majority of the students are in private rented houses and are now left on their own, it added.

With East Khasi Hills now listed under red zone category, the situation is bad and it may become worse unless necessary steps are taken by the state government, alerted the letter.

The best possible solution is to bring them back to their respective homes in Manipur at the earliest, it said.

However,  so far no official intimidation has been made from the Manipur government. “We are hopeful that there would be some development or response to our distress call from the state government by today or tomorrow,” said SMSU president Chongtham Thangamba Meetei.

Meanwhile, as informed by Chongtham, the Meghalaya government has assured to extend assistance in the form of providing temporary accommodation and food to the stranded people from Manipur.

We had a meeting with the Meghalaya state officials on Friday and now we are in a process to submit the application form to them, he said.

In the present scenario, though the maximum possible help is being received from the locals and the Meghalaya government, the stranded community from Manipur said that the help remained inadequate since there are other several issues and problems faced by the students.

Earlier, the students’ union in collaboration with Meghalaya government had reached out to at least 60 people from Manipur, including families, living in Shillong area and distributed essential items as a first phase of relief aid.

“On Sunday, we will be reaching out to those people from Manipur living along the border area in Meghalaya and distribute relief packages,” informed Chongtham.

Around to 30 to 40 families from Manipur are living along the border areas in Meghalaya.