Kolkata, May 15 (IANS) As the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown is slated to step into its fourth phase, the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government has written to the Centre with suggestions to bring back Bengalis stranded in various foreign countries.

Earlier, the state government had made initiatives to bring home migrant labourers who were stuck in various parts of the country due to the lockdown.

The state administration made arrangements for running as many as 105 additional special trains to bring home all the Bengalis and migrant workers who were stranded in various parts of India due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown.

According to sources in the state home department, suggestions were given with focus on resuming civil aviation services at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport and on the arrangements of institutional quarantine centres for those coming from outside.

“The government of West Bengal is keen to welcome back its people stranded in different countries and has long back communicated its agreement as well as quarantine arrangement details etc. for special international inbound journeys,” the state home department tweeted on Friday.

The initiative taken in this regard to address the problems faced by the stranded people abroad has been noticed.

“We have seen the standard operating procedure (SOP) and the guidelines issued in this regard. It is requested that the said SOP and the guidelines may kindly be maintained strictly to avoid any chance of spread of Covid-19, as initial spread of the infection has been incidentally through foreign returnees only,” the home department said in a letter.

The state government also informed the Centre that the required preparations for institutional quarantine facilities for the foreign returnees to West Bengal have been put in place.

The letter was sent by state Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha to Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla with a copy marked to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

“It is, however, requested that the details of the passengers reaching Kolkata may kindly be intimated in advance to make other necessary arrangements,” it said.




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