Gangtok, 06 May:
A total of 80 Sikkimese stranded in the neighbouring areas of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Siliguri returned to the State in six SNT buses pressed into service for their evacuation, PCE and General Manager, SNT, Karma Namgyal Bhutia, informed today.
In a video broadcast on the Govt of Sikkim Facebook page late this evening, Mr Bhutia, who is also a member of the State Evacuation Cell [COVID-19], informed that while three buses entered from Melli, three, with returning Sikkimese from North and East districts, entered the State at Rangpo.
While seven buses came in from Siliguri, one bus was despatched to Kalimpong from where it picked up 13 stranded Sikkimese.
Mr Bhutia informs that while 190 people [in the areas covered today] had confirmed their desire to return, only 80 eventually did, with the rest deciding to stay back.
Meanwhile, SNT also decided to make pick-ups only in the mornings since the afternoon pickups were proving too tedious and time-consuming. For instance, by the time returning Sikkimese reached the quarantine facility at Mangan yesterday, it was already past 11 in the night.
As for registrations by Sikkimese stranded outside, Mr Bhutia informs that as of Wednesday evening, a total of 5,855 had registered. Of these, 1,505 are stranded in the neighboring areas of Siliguri, Darjeeling and Kalimpong.
Of the 33 Sikkimese who returned via Melli, 32 hail from South Sikkim and one is from West, an IPR press release informs.