Thiruvananthapuram: Seeking his intervention into the matter immediately, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that the latter must convince Karnataka to open its borders with Kerala for the movement of essential commodities.
This is the second letter from the Kerala CM. He had written letter one March 27 when the police blocked Thalassery-Coorg State Highway-30.
Stating that this road has been a lifeline for transportation of essential commodities across the border for a long time, Pinarayi Vijayan informed the PM: “While the Government of Kerala has no dispute on the fact that movement of people in a routine manner across the border during the period of National lock down should be prevented, the transportation of essential commodities should be ensured without any obstruction."
“It has come to notice that in the correspondence at the official level from the Government of Karnataka, justifications have been given for blocking this road. One of the reasons stated is, "Kerala has identified 176 cases of COVID-19 as on 28/03/2020, of which majority are from these bordering districts. Further 7000 persons are reported to be quarantined in these districts. Any opening of this route will lead to possibilities of this virulent infection reaching Kodagu district," he informed.
“It may kindly be noted that this is totally contrary to the facts and ground realities. The incidence of COVID-19 in Kerala and border districts is mainly noticed in people returning from abroad. The Government of Kerala has taken effective measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 to social contacts. We have put our machinery in full swing. It is totally incorrect to portray certain districts in Kerala as being highly affected by COVID-19," he said.
“A large number of people are kept in isolation and observation as a precautionary measure. It is not that all of them are positive for COVID-19,” he said.The blockade raised by the Karnataka Police in the border area on Thalassery-Coorg State Highway-30 goes against facilitating movement of essential commodities across the country, Pinarayi Vijayan said.
“I hope you will appreciate the fact that in this hour when the Nation faces an unprecedented crisis, local and partisan vested interests should not prevail over National interest,” he said.
Throwing light at the unfortunate incident of an elderly dying as the ambulance was not allowed to pass Thalapady checkpost from Kerala, the CM informed: “It has also been reported today that in the Mangaluru border near Thalappady, the movement of an ambulance carrying a critical patient was blocked and the patient died. Considering the above facts and circumstances, I request your goodself to intervene in the matter and see to it that no route across the border of Kerala and Karnataka remains closed during the period of National lockdown so that movement of goods vehicles carrying essential commodities are not obstructed.”
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