Air India’s first ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ is helping Indians in abroad to come back home. But along with the pandemic and other restrictions, these people are facing another challenge - paying for their hotel stay.
According to Hindustan Times, The 326 passengers who reached India claim that they were made to pay the entire expense for the 14-day quarantine period at expensive hotels.
Though Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) stated that all returnees were sent to institutional quarantine and the ones showing symptoms were sent to isolation wards in hospitals. They also mentioned that all fliers were informed of this cost during booking.
BMC has arranged 3343 rooms in 88 hotels to quarantine people returning from various countries, in the coming few days. 14800 people are to be brought back to India on 64 special flights starting 7th May. Out of these, 7 flights are to come to Mumbai with 1900 passengers: BMC pic.twitter.com/TBoMLqu9FH— ANI (@ANI) May 7, 2020
Yet there seemed to be a lot of miscommunication. One of the passengers, who is a 60-year-old retired government official disclosed he and 50 other passengers shed somewhere around Rs. 87,000 for quarantine at a five-star hotel in Santacruz. He also mentioned that he spent over 2 lakh for him and his wife including the airplane tickets.
The man mentioned that even though he had opted for a cheaper hotel, it was upgraded last minute.
Our hotel was changed to a five-star one in Santacruz at the last minute and we had no say on it because the district collector’s staff had taken over the process from BMC, creating confusion. The entire process is being handled in an unprofessional manner without consulting experts.
Another 46-year-old returnee, who suffers from kidney problems, was made to stay in a hotel which was 15 minutes away from his home.
My parents are heart patients and I returned from London to take care of them. I am currently 15 minutes away from home but can only speak to my family over the phone. I have already paid Rs 63,000 for the isolation period
Even someone who was classified as a low-risk passenger at the airport was made to stay at the hotel.
After the said claims, BMC stated that they instructed the hoteliers’ association to charge accommodation fees in four different instalments where the passengers won't have to pay in one go.
Meanwhile, the passengers also mentioned how the norms of social distancing and proper measures were not taken care at the airports. Most of the staff weren't wearing masks or gloves.
Starting May 7, the Ministry of External Affairs started bringing Indians, who were stuck across the globe. The ones who lost their jobs, have health-related concerns, or wish to return home after the death of a family member were preferred to be brought back sooner over the people who weren't facing any of the following issues.
H/T : Hindustan Times