Lockdown: First passenger train from Delhi arrives at C'garh

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Lockdown: First passenger train from Delhi arrives at C'garh
Raipur, May 13 () Even as the first special trainfrom Delhi arrived in Chhattisgarh's Raipur city amid theCOVID-19 lockdown, migrants seemed relieved to reach theirhome state.

For Raipur-resident M P Singh, his journey from Delhiamid the COVID-19 lockdown was the most memorable one.

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Having been stuck in the national capital for over twomonths, the Singh couple returned to Raipur in the Railways'super-fast special Rajdhani train that arrived here onWednesday morning.

"It is a moment of immense happiness for me and myfamily. This journey will remain etched in my memory forever,"said 56-year-old Singh.

Singh along with his wife returned to Raipur in thefirst special train run from Delhi to Bilapsur (Chhattisgarh)that left the national capital at around 4 pm on Tuesday andreached Raipur at around 9.45 am, ahead of its scheduled timeof 10.20 am.

The Singh couple, who live in Kanchanganga colonyhere, had gone to Delhi in March to attend a wedding and wereabout to return on March 24, a day before the nationwidelockdown was enforced.

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"Fortunately, we could stay with our son, who works ata bank in Noida. However, we were also desperate to returnhome," said Singh also a bank employee.

Singh expressed dissatisfaction over the arrangementsmade for passengers at Delhi station.

"Vehicles used to ferry passengers were stopped atleast a kilometre away from the station and people had to waitin long queues to enter the premises. There was no one toguide us through the medical screening," he said.

However, social distancing was practiced in the trainand passengers were also given hand sanitisers, he said.

The experience was quite similar for Seema Tiwari fromDhamtari district, located around 77 km away from here.

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Tiwari, who had gone to attend a wedding in Bhopal inneighbouring Madhya Pradesh, was stuck there for three monthswith her 12-year-old son.

"I travelled to Bhopal well before the wedding. Butafter the lockdown was enforced, the ceremony had to becancelled and we were just stuck there," she said.

The railways resumed its passenger train servicesnearly 50 days after it had suspended its operations due tothe COVID-19 lockdown.

The Government Railway Police and the RailwayProtection Force were deployed at all stations to ensureprecautionary measures were being followed, an official heresaid.

All passengers were allowed to exit only after theyunderwent medical screening and were instructed to remain inhome quarantine for 14 days, he added.

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The Railways had made special arrangements, includingmarking squares in and out of the station in keeping with thenorms of social distancing, while passengers sported masks andsome even wore gloves. TKPARU ARU
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