Assam To Reopen Borders With Northeast States From Sunday

The state government has formed a task force for the smooth return of migrants to the state and the movement across the interstate borders.

Assam To Reopen Borders With Northeast States From Sunday

People entering Assam from the northeastern states will not need passes, Himanta Biswa Sarma said (File)

Guwahati:

Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday said state borders with all states in the northeast, except Sikkim, will be reopened from Sunday to "ease the return" of those stranded in the other states in the region.

"No passes will be required for those travelling from these states," he said in a tweet, adding, "All returnees to be screened at interstate borders for COVID symptoms."

The Assam-Bengal border will not be opened and those stranded in Sikkim and North Bengal will not be able to return home immediately. The government, however, plans to send buses for those stuck in West Bengal, Bihar, UP and Delhi, sources told NDTV. Special trains will bring back people from south, central, and west India to the state.

The state government has also launched a helpline number for all those stranded across India, other than in the northeastern states.

Addressing a press meet on Saturday, Himanta Biswa Sarma said, people stuck in other states can give a missed call on 7428159966 and within 48 hours, they will receive a link where they can share details about where are they from, where are they headed, and other information. The government will then finalise on the modalities to bring them back.

The state government has formed a task force for the smooth return of migrants to the state and the movement across the interstate borders. The task force will be lead by Assam police while two ADGP ranked officers will serve as the Nodal officers, said Mr Sarma.

Assam has also decided to re-evaluate the red, orange and green zones in all districts after one of its green zones reported five new COVID cases on April 30.

Zones will now be re-assessed and demarcated depending upon the threat of the virus spread in an area and after carefully studying the challenges that may arise going forward, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal told NDTV.  

"We have the liberty and accordingly we will consider some areas. It is a question of studying the challenges we might face ahead. Accordingly, all the disciplines will be sorted," Mr Sonowal said.

Liquor shops in the state have been allowed to open from today only in the green zones with strict adherence to social-distancing.