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Struck in Jammu since lockdown, families facing financial woes to reach their homes
Unavailability of public transport costs heavily to stranded people
5/5/2020 12:27:57 AM

JAMMU, May 4: A large number of families hailing from hilly areas of Jammu province have been facing financial woes to return their home towns as with the increasing mercury level, stay in Jammu has becoming difficult while to return back without the availability of public transport is costing heavy to the families.
Hundreds of the families from far flung districts of Jammu province, especially the areas which witnessed snowfall during winters such as Poonch, Rajouri, Doda and Kishtwar seasonally migrate to district Jammu areas to beat the extreme winter conditions.
During the month of April as the mercury starts rising, these families start their return journey to their home towns every year but this year due to lockdown in view of COVID-19 restrictions, they got struck in Jammu and other plain areas.
Even as the third phase of lockdown has begun and the administration has been giving permission for inter-district journey but in absence of public transport these families have been facing hurdles. “The district administration Jammu has been giving online intra-district permission to the families and not the inter-district passes”, a family said.
They further said that district Kathua, Reasi and Udhampur have been giving the e-pass for inter-district passes but the main issue is of the vehicle”, a family said, adding that the families who didn’t have their personal vehicles, how they would avail the facility of inter-district passes.
“We have no personal vehicle but on the online form to get e-pass the vehicle registration number is must, otherwise the form is not submitted”, a family said, adding that the private commercial vehicle operators have been reluctant to visit the hilly districts, apprehending quarantine.
Another person said that majority of the families are not economically rich so that they could afford huge vehicle fare. “One the private operators are not ready to go and if someone agreed he is demanding huge fare, making it impossible for some families to bear”, the family said.
“Now the district Jammu, Kathua and Samba have been kept in red-zone districts and it is still unclear as if the families will take e-pass and enter the green zone of orange zone districts, for how many days they will be put in home quarantine or administrative quarantine”, the families said.
The families appealed the administration to take the details of the families and arrange some public transport vehicles for the distressed families stranded in Jammu, so that they could return back to their home districts as the increasing temperature is making it difficult to stay in plains now.
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