Amid the ongoing scuffle between the West Bengal state government and the Centre, the Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) has written to the state Chief Secretary Rajiv Sinha on Saturday. In a 6-point letter to Sinha, IMCT leader Apurva Chandra has made a mention of Sinha's ignorance to accompany the IMCT for field visits which stands as a violation of the Home Ministry's order. Chandra also flagged that four letters that have been written to the state government since the IMCT's arrival and no response to those have been received till date.
"The Chief Secretary of West Bengal has been widely reported in the media of having stated in his daily press conference that the IMCT is free to visit anywhere and senior officers of the state government cannot waste their time accompanying the IMCT. The above stand is in violation of the order of the Ministry of Home Affairs quoted above as the state government is expected to provide logistic support and facilitate all the field visits," the IMCT wrote.
Through the letter, Chandra has also demanded that the state government clarifies its stand on facilitating the visits of the IMCT and ensuring the safety and security of the team members as also providing information and records to be made clear through written communication.
The IMCT asserted that stricter implementation of lockdown is mandatory to avoid any further outbreak after visiting Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling and Kalimpong to assess the containment of COVID-19. The team also wrote to West Bengal Chief Secretary and Divisional Commissioner (DC) Jalpaiguri to implement stringent measures for the lockdown.
Earlier on Friday, the IMCT also recommended the West Bengal government to increase its COVID-19 tests to 2500-5000 per day. The suggestion was made after the team visited Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute and Bangur hospital in Kolkata.