BENGALURU: Confusion and drama followed the arrival of the first train from Mumbai at KSR Station in Bengaluru, after two months. Two passengers who attempted to escape from the second entry of KSR Railway Station, to avoid institutional quarantine, were brought back by cops and BBMP officials. A few others may have escaped, but no one is sure about the number.
Udyan Express, which left Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, reached Platform 5 of KSR Station at 8.33 am, and 644 passengers, including 52 children, deboarded the train. However, according to S Vijayamma, Assistant Director of Health Services, Karnataka health department, there were 556 passengers, including 28 children.
With the State recently declaring compulsory 7-day institutional quarantine prior to 7-day home quarantine for passengers from Maharashtra, BBMP health officials got busy with thermal screening and swab testing (for special categories) before they could be taken to quarantine centres. However, there were no buses to ferry them. Passengers from within Karnataka who had boarded the Mumbai train midway, were allowed to leave as intra-state travellers are exempt from quarantine.
A senior BMTC official said, “Our buses were there in advance. When our drivers learnt that the passengers were from Mumbai, a Red Zone, we decided to send special partitioned buses. The partition ensures the driver’s safety. We withdrew the buses and despatched nine partitioned buses,” he said. “The Railways should have informed us that the train was from Mumbai.” Deputy SP, Government Rly Police, D Ashoka said, “A group of passengers was taken by bus from the second entry, and after 100m, the bus stopped, may be due to a technical problem,” health equipment officer Shivakumar said. “There were too many people around as the buses had not turned up.
Two of them tried to leave in an auto. They were chased and caught by BBMP and Railway Police.”
Passengers on the New Delhi-KSR Bengaluru Daily Special, which had arrived on Platform 8 earlier, were also leaving, so there was no clarity on which passenger belonged to which train. Divisional Railway Manager, Bengaluru Div, A K Varma, said the responsibility of passengers shifts to the State after they reach the station.