Few foreigners stranded in Mathura, Vrindavan may be evacuated soon
While there are hardly any tourists left in Agra, twin religious cities of Mathura and Vrindavan are struggling to manage the foreign devotees.Updated: Mar 30, 2020 19:47 IST
While there are hardly any tourists left in Agra, twin religious cities of Mathura and Vrindavan are struggling to manage the foreign devotees who had come to the land of Lord Krishna and are now stranded due to 21-day lockdown announced by the government in view of Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have two types of foreign nationals. While majority are those who come to Mathura and Vrindavan to stay for years, a few Krishna devotees keep coming,” said Sarvagya Ram Mishra, district magistrate (DM), Mathura.
Insisting that the situation was well under control, the DM said: “Those who have come after February 15 have been placed in quarantine. There are about 111 such foreigners traced in Mathura. Out of these, 22 are undergoing active quarantine under vigil of health officials and the remaining are in self quarantine for 14 days.”
“None of these foreigners had symptoms of coronavirus but were still placed under quarantine. Many of them are in the process of leaving for their home country now,” added the DM.
Most of the foreigners come here to ISKCON temple in Vrindavan.
While the temple closed now, about 40 foreign devotees, including those living here for long also want to go back to their country.
“Since they are not allowed to stay in ISKCON temple, most of them are putting up in Goverdhan area. Those who are from Russia will soon go back as special flights are being arranged for them in Delhi by their own government,” said Ravi Lochan Dass, spokesperson, ISKCON.
“They are mostly from USA, UK and Russia and their government is arranging flights back home but the hurdle is in travelling to Delhi for which they need passes for vehicle movement. The district administration is yet to act on it,” added Dass.
“With hotels and restaurants closed and flights cancelled, nobody is coming to Agra. With monuments shut, any way, they have no reason to visit the city,” said Rajeev Saxena, vice president, Tourism Guild of Agra.