HUBBALLI: A railway official from Hubballi had a night-long ordeal after he was forcefully taken to a quarantine centre from his home at night and made to wait there till morning thanks to a goof-up by the administration.
Shrihari (name changed), a vigilance inspector with the South Western Railway (SWR), was asked to get into an ambulance that was waiting in front of his house in Hubballi on Thursday night. The official argued that he had not travelled anywhere nor was he in the list of primary or secondary contacts of any COVID-19 patients.
He asked the police and ambulance staff who had arrived why he was being picked up despite this, but the latter had no answer. All that he got by way of reply was an instruction to get into the vehicle.
Leaving behind his tensed family members and curious neighbours, Shrihari boarded the ambulance, in which three people -- a woman who had returned from Goa and two men came from Kerala -- were already seated. All of them, including the railway official, were taken to a quarantine centre in the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS) campus in Dharwad.
Once there, Shrihari again tried to explain to officials that it was a possible confusion that had led to him being brought to the quarantine centre. After many requests, the officials agreed to wait till morning or until the nodal officer of the centre arrived before moving him into the centre.
Shrihari was provided a chair outside and had to spend the rest of the night in the campus. Luckily, the nodal officer reached the centre at 6 am and he agreed there had been a possible mix-up and allowed the official to return home.
"I had applied for an inter-state travel pass to Telangana. While my return pass was permitted by the Telangana government, I did not get a travel pass from Karnataka. So, I cancelled my trip and continued to attend duty in Hubballi. The team kept asking me when had I returned from Telangana and despite my clarification that I did not go anywhere, I was forcibly picked up," Shrihari explained.
A senior administration official said several teams were tracking people to be placed under quarantine. Moreover, hi-tech tools are being used to check whether those who are under quarantine are getting out of the restricted zone. As multiple teams are engaged in such activities, there was confusion in this instance, which has been sorted out.