PM’s virtual meet: Maha CM likely to discuss extension of lockdown and trains for migrants
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray is likely to suggest an extension of ongoing lockdown 3:0 restrictions, which were further extended from May 4 for 14 days in 130 districts across the country that have emerged as coronavirus disease (Covid-19) hotspots, till end-May during the CMs’ video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi slated to be held on Monday afternoon.
The CM will push for enforcement of stricter norms for red zones and implementation of a few more relaxations in orange and green zones.
Thackeray is expected to draw the PM’s attention to the plight of stranded migrant workers and demand for their evacuation at the earliest by special trains.
Maharashtra has recorded over 10,000 Covid-19 positive cases in the last 10 days, as the overall tally rose to 22,171 and 832 deaths till Sunday evening.
The state authorities are facing a massive challenge to ensure restrictions in the containment zones such as Mumbai’s congested Dharavi slums and parts of Pune. The visiting central teams have also raised a similar concern.
Earlier, CM Thackeray had hinted at extending the lockdown till end-May in both Mumbai and Pune Metropolitan Regions, which have emerged as the epicentre of Covid-19 pandemic in Maharashtra.
“The CM has been urging the Centre to arrange special trains to repatriate stranded migrant labourers at the earliest. However, a few states are reluctant to take back the migrants,” said a state government official.
Maharashtra government is also expected to request for the deployment of central forces in the containment zones in a bid to relieve the stressed state police force.
Thackeray, in his address via Facebook Live on Saturday, had said that he might ask for the deployment of additional force from the Centre as many state police personnel have taken ill due to Covid-19-related stress. “We’ll ask for deployment of an additional security force from the Centre, if required,” the CM had said.
PM Modi is expected to discuss the extension of lockdown and also an alternative exit plan by opening up economic activities across the country, which have been suspended since March 25 to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.