Even as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has blamed the Centre after the fifth virtual Covid19 meeting with the Prime Minister, a Uttarkhand Minister on Tuesday said that the state is awaiting the response of her government for the return of 700 tourists. This comes after Home Minister Amit Shah lashed out at CM Banerjee for not giving nod to the Shramik Trains meant for the return of the stranded people. Even as the West Bengal government claimed that it has requested for trains and Centre's allegations are 'baseless', Uttarkhand Minister Madan Kaushik said that there has been no response so far.
Meanwhile, speaking to news agency ANI, stranded people from West Bengal said that they are not facing any problem in Uttarakhand as the state government has made all arrangements, but they want to return to their homes in various parts of West Bengal. "We are in contact with West Bengal Govt to take back their people since lockdown started but we are yet to receive any response. We have made arrangements for their stay, food & medical facilities but they want to return to their home," Uttarakhand Minister Madan Kaushik said.
Uttarakhand: Around 700 tourists from West Bengal are stranded in Haridwar since the #CoronavirusLockdown had begun. They say, "we are not facing any problem here, but we want to return to our homes. We request Mamata didi to make arrangements for us to return home." (11.5) pic.twitter.com/zWfjAs6ZYK— ANI (@ANI) May 11, 2020
CM Mamata Banerjee launched a scathing attack on the Central government on Monday claiming that even after 5 meetings with the Prime Minister, the states have found no remedies of their problems as the Centre has not paid heed to any suggestions. The TMC supremo also pointed out the contradiction between lockdown orders and relaxations, urging PM Modi to allow the states to take a call on easing restrictions.
As the Centre and the state has been at loggerhead over the COVID data, the Chief Minister also apprised the Prime Minister that there are 1,374 active cases and 185 deaths in Bengal. She informed that the state has increased the number of testing labs and the testing has doubled from 2000 to 4000 per day in a week.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi requested all the Chief Ministers to submit a blueprint to deal with various nuances during and after the gradual easing of the lockdown in their respective states by May 15. He stressed the need for an all-encompassing approach to deal with various challenges that will arise in the future. Mentioning that everyone had a reasonable indication of the geographical spread of COVID-19, the PM highlighted that this would help in having a focused fight against the pandemic. Moreover, he stated that the country would have to work towards achieving two objectives- to reduce the transmission rate of the disease and to increase public activity gradually.