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COVID-19 lockdown: 500 Nepalese labourers stranded in Dharchula

COVID-19 lockdown: 500 Nepalese labourers stranded in Dharchula

Pithoragarh: Over 500 Nepalese labourers returning home from different parts of India have been stranded in Dharchula in Uttarakhand with the Nepal government shutting its doors on them in an effort to combat coronavirus.

The Nepal government extended the ban on entry of people from across the borders for another 10 days from Monday as a measure to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The ban was initially to be in force from March 23 to 29.

The stranded Nepalese workers have been kept temporarily in the shed of a cremation ground in Dharchula with the district administration providing for food, sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) S K Shukla said, adding that if they continue to gather like this, the situation may become difficult.

They are daily wage labourers from Nepal who gathered here after the lockdown from different parts of India, including Delhi, in the hope of crossing over smoothly into their country via Dharchula, he said.

They gathered in Dharchula after words spread that labourers were being despatched to Nepal through the route.

However, the 10-day extension of the ban on their entry into their country by the Nepal government has put them in a fix, Shukla said.

“They want to cross over to their country through a bridge on the river Kali in Dharchula which has been closed from the Nepal side, the SDM said.

“We are ready to open the bridge but the Nepalese authorities are against it, he said.

“We are feeding and taking care of them. Our officials, doctors and local NGOs are involved in the exercise,” he said, adding all of them have been screened and have no symptoms of coronavirus so far.


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