Surinder Pal Singh: The way Punjab was handling and catering to the situation. It appeared that the current dispensation was in full control /command of the situation under the leadership of CM Capt Amrinder Singh and duly supported by Administrative Officers of all the government Departments. Just one issue has jeopardised the whole situation and the neutralised the gains of so many days of the LOCKDOWN. Handling of Pilgrims who were struck at Nanded has adversely affected the whole situation in the state. If the government was credited for all the good work all these days then discredit for this issue should also be borne by the State government.
It is failure on part of each one involved in the operation. Least it could have been done is that it taken the stock of the situation at Nanded in Maharashtra. It should have sent a team of officials who would have done a reconnaissance of the route on their onward journey on which the buses would take to their way to Punjab. They should have marked the stops and night halts at Gurdwaras en-route and should have taken the managements of these places into confidence. The managements of these places should have been informed well in advance about the strength of people and timings of arrival and forward movement.
This team should have segregated those struck on the district Basis and should have done screening of all of them before dispatching the pilgrims. All those with any mild symptoms should have been made to travel separately. Their dispatch from start point, they should have been staggered in a manner that they reach the destination in manageable strength. After all they were not struck at a place without shelter, food or other requirements. Where was the hurry to move them back in an unmanageable manner?
At arrival destinations, each district should have activated their resources to receive the people at one place in every district and people should have been made to undergo screening/testing and may be quarantine before being permitted to go to respective residences.
They could also have been taken to say places like Amritsar and made to stay at SGPC offered Sarai where they should have undergone medical screening/quarantine before they could have permitted to go back to respective places of residence across the state.
In doing so scanning and other medical resources / efforts would have concentrated at one place and SGPC would have taken care of other requirements like food etc. SGPC had offered all accommodation at its disposal to State Govt in the very beginning. Then why the State Govt take the help of the SGPC? The reasons to mind appear to be more political than anything else. In all probability, the State Govt which was riding on its CONFIDENCE, preferred not to share the credit with any other Body/Agency. The only unfortunate part is when Sikhs and Punjabis were glorified all across the Globe for their efforts / support in the current pandemic, it has failed to look after its own people in its own STATE.
Whatever may the reasons involved but it clearly shows lack of foresight, poor planning and mindless execution on part of each one involved in the entire operation. Application of mind coordination and willingness to work are clearly lacking.
Still it is not too late. The situation demands that Lapses be accepted at all levels without going into a cover up exercise. Once its accepted then only we can go full strength to take control of the situation else majority of the efforts and focus will go into cover up exercise and the core issues will certainty get overlooked. Time not to get bogged down and put up a brave front with full might to avoid letting the situation slip out of hands.