Create Special Task Force for reaching out to stranded J&K people across country: Rana

Srinagar, Apr 18 (KNS): National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana today urged the administration to evolve a robust mechanism by creating a Special Task Force, headed by a senior officer, to reach out to the stranded people of Jammu and Kashmir, currently in distress in various parts of the country.
“The humanitarian approach should form part of the strategy while implementing the vigorous implementation of preventive measures and rapid testing to combat corona virus”, Rana said in a statement, adding that even as the lockdown has become the only viable option to fight the pandemic, its fallout on different segments of the society is also required to be taken into account for earnest redressal.
Rana referred to the pitiable condition of Jammu and Kashmir residents, especially students, patients and their attendants, professionals, pheriwallas and labourers, who have got stuck up in various parts of the country due to abrupt announcement of the lockdown and called for their evacuation on war footing basis.
The Provincial President appreciated the arrangements made for return of Kashmir based Pakistan returned medicos from Amritsar to Srinagar and hoped that same analogy would adopted for safe passage of over 1500 J&K residents stranded in Pathankote to Jammu and the Valley. “They are in hapless situation and protesting for the past several days after completing the mandatory quarantine period of 14 days”, he said, adding that same is the plight of patients and their attendants, who had gone for treatment to institutions like Tata Memorial Hospital Mumbai, AIIMS New Delhi and Chandigarh besides various other hospitals.
According to statement issued to KNS, Rana said he has been receiving distress calls from students and other segments of society from Rajasthan, Bangluru, Hyderabad, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and the various other states, seeking some passage for their return to home. He made a special mention of young children stranded in Kota and said If the other states like Uttar Pradesh could make special transport arrangements for ferrying home their residents, there is no reason why Jammu and Kashmir administration can’t evolve a similar mechanism for those stuck up at various destinations. Similarly, the labour force, skilled and unskilled workers besides students from Reasi, Udhampur, Kishtwar, Doda, Poonch and Rajouri districts, stranded in Jammu and in other towns are also required to be ferried to their homes, which will not only ease the pressure on the administration in terms of making boarding lodging facilities for them but also provide respite to lot many families, he added.
“Till the time some mechanism is put in place for their safe return to homes, the respective state governments should be requested to ensure their safe stay at their present places of abandonment”, Mr Rana said.
The Provincial President also drew the attention of the administration towards the areas declared as red zones and said this can’t be an unending system. Once the areas observe necessary quarantine period and adhere to all the obligatory protocols, the sealing should be ended if there are no Covid-19 positive cases. In this context, he made a mention of areas like Sunjwan and Bhatandi and said if the administration is satisfied about the normal situation, sealing should be called off. Meanwhile, he called upon the government to ensure all essentials to the people of hotspot areas as per well defined guidelines.
The Provincial President regretted over retrenching of para-medics, engaged under SRO 24 in Udhampur and Kathua Medical Colleges, after rendering one year service. It is ironical that at a time health workers are direly needed to cope up with the emergency, the available young medics and para-medics are shown the door, he said and questioned the rationale behind this extreme step, even as the health and medical education departments across the country are requisitioning the services of retired professionals to support the governmental efforts in combating pandemic.
Rana also expressed concern over the plight of migrant labourers and daily earners, saying their sustenance should be ensured till the situation eases out. He described the current health emergency as unprecedented and called for extra-ordinary measures in mitigating the sufferings of the affected population.
The Provincial President also stressed the need for ensuring availability of rations and other essentials to rationees as also the needy, as the markets are shut due to lockdown. (KNS)

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