Jammu: A special train from Bengaluru carrying nearly 1,100 passengers reached Udhampur on Tuesday, marking the beginning of the return of Jammu and Kashmir residents stranded outside the Union Territory by rail.
Earlier, 40,000 residents were transported by road via Lakhanpur – the gateway to the UT bordering Punjab.
The train reached Udhampur at 11.30 am after a delay of several hours and the passengers, including students and labourers, deboarded it as per the guidelines and moved to an identified holding area before being sent to their home districts in buses.

Another train from Delhi to reach Udhampur today
JAMMU: As a sequel to government’s initiatives of bringing back the people stuck up outside J&K to their homes in a safe and comfortable environment, special train will be reaching Udhampur Railway station tomorrow. According to an official statement, special train from Delhi carrying 1200 passengers is likely to reach its destination early morning at 5:00 AM.
“The entire process of boarding and de-boarding is being organised while strictly adhering to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19”, it added.

The special train, which had left Chikkabanavara station in Bengaluru on Sunday afternoon, was the first passenger rail service in Jammu and Kashmir during the lockdown in effect since March 25.
Udhampur District Development Commissioner Piyush Singla said another train with 1,100 passengers is to reach here from Goa on Tuesday.
Singla, who received the passengers, said the district administration had deployed magistrates and other officials to receive the passengers at the platform and guide them for online registration through an app.
The returnees were provided packaged meals and water bottles for the journey to their home districts with police escort.
Officials said all the returnees have to be tested for COVID-19 and undergo administrative quarantine without exception. “Only if the tests come negative, can they be sent for home quarantine for 14 days, one of the officials said.
The J&K government has collected details of stranded persons who wish to return. Arrangements are being made for their arrival in an orderly manner, the officials said.
The stranded persons from the States and UTs of Haryana, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh and Delhi have also been permitted to return in a regulated manner, with effect from May 7 and this process will continue for a week, they said.
They said the evacuation was started after the Ministry of Home Affairs on April 29 allowed movement of stranded persons with certain conditions.
As per data received from Jammu and Kashmir Government Nodal office for Migrant Workers, students and other persons, there are around 2000 workers stranded in Uttarakhand state and over 50% of them were evacuated in last four days.
It includes evacuation from remote areas of Uttarakhand viz Dhanaulti, Nainital, Pithoragarh, Chamoli, Uttarkashi, Pauri, Champawat, Rudrayaprag Bhageshwar,Tehri Garwal ,Partapgarh, Bardkot,Dharchula , Almora and Munshiyari etc.
The evacuation was well coordinated effort by Uttarakhand State Administration and Jammu and Kashmir Administration. The process involved advance planning due to remoteness and scattered groups of persons. Labour and Employment team tied up with local Administration of Uttarakhand and ensured timelines for evacuation of stranded persons.
Giving details, the UT Control Room officer, informed that as per their records, about 251 workers were stranded in Almora and a total of 258 workers were evacuated. Yesterday it was confirmed from Almora control room that no application of workers is pending , he said
“On May 11 (Monday) 12 vehicles carrying 226 persons moved out of Uttarakhand for Jammu and Kashmir. A Total 1250 persons have been evacuated in last 4 days from different remote districts of the Uttarakhand state,” he added.
The returnees mainly belong to Poonch, Reasi, Doda, Anantnag and Baramulla of Jammu and Kashmir, the official said. “We are expecting a good number of persons back to Jammu and Kashmir tomorrow,” informed the UT Control Room.
Meanwhile, of 37147 returnees till May 12, 2020(morning) coming via Lakhanpur include 10301 from Punjab; 18095 from Himachal Pardesh, 6515 from other states and UTs including Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Odhisa, Assam, Madhya Pradesh.