Tura(Meghalya), May 24 : The Achik Indigenous Justice Initiative Forum (AIJIF) and the Dainadubi Circle Youth Organization (DCYO) has lashed out at the State government over what they alleged were different Covid-19 guidelines being followed to allow for the transportation of coal through the NH – 62 in North Garo Hills district.
In a letter to Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma , the NGOs stated that currently Covid-19 is spreading across the country and appropriate measures need to be taken to combat the spread of the virus.
“The drivers and handyman from different states of India entered Meghalaya to transport stranded coal trucks to Goalpara, Assam. They are coming from states like Assam, Bihar, Punjab, Rajasthan etc (orange and red zones) and the scene is like a weekly bazaar. These drivers are violating all forms of Covid-19 guidelines with our voices being ignored by the local administration despite protests,” said DCYO president, Gilsang D Shira.
The NGO stated that this lockdown violation has led to many people being anxious and fearful of the spread of the virus.
“They are not wearing face masks and not adhering to social distancing and personal hygiene protocols,” added AIJIF coordinator, Stubent G Marak.
The NGO further questioned the difference in quarantine protocols being followed for the truckers against those followed by the returnees from different states.
“The government is not sending these drivers and handyman for 14 days quarantine before they transport the coal from Meghalaya. This is questionable and intriguing,” felt Stubent.
The NGO felt that the government needs to come down heavily on the haphazard gathering of drivers and handymen along the highway to minimize the possible spread of the virus.
“They should also mandatorily follow the Covid-19 guidelines and hence we urge the government to prohibit such violations. It is imperative to take cognisance of the matter for the morale of the people residing in the border areas,” added the two NGOs while urging the government to prohibit such gatherings on the roadside.
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