Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a virtual meeting with chief ministers of all states today. He discussed the plan for lift the ongoing nationwide lockdown that was put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This is PM Modi’s fifth such meeting with the chief ministers since the outbreak emerged.
PM Modi said initially his government's efforts were for everyone to stay where they were in the fight against coronavirus, but certain decisions had to be changed because it was "human nature" to want to go home. "Despite that, we have to make sure that the disease doesn’t spread and go to villages, that’s our big challenge,” he added, referring to the movement of migrants.
Yesterday, government took a major step by resuming passenger train operations from tomorrow (May 12), nearly two months after the services were stopped due to the coronavirus-induced nationwide lockdown. Bookings for 15 passenger trains that will run from tomorrow starts at 6pm today.
Home Minister Amit Shah was also present in the meeting. He highlighted the importance of the Aarogya Setu mobile application and urged CMs to popularise it.
Here's what did the chief ministers have to say in today's video conference with PM Modi
Today, all Chief Ministers got to speak as some of them had complained that they were not allowed to put forth their views during the last interaction on April 27. Union Territories have been asked to give their views in writing.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee was one of the first to speak. She said "We, as a state, are doing our best to combat the virus; The Centre should not play politics at this crucial time."
Andhra Pradesh CM Jaganmohan Reddy urged PM Modi to help the MSME sector, saying that there are nearly one hundred thousand MSME employees in Andhra Pradesh. If the Centre does not help, there will be a spike in unemployment in the state. The Andhra Pradesh CM sought a relaxation of lockdown measures, with strict adherence of personal hygiene protocols.
"We need to prepare people to live with coronavirus till vaccine is ready, we have to create massive awareness to prevent transmit of the virus," said Andhra Pradesh Reddy. "We should have an exit plan from institutional quarantine... the fear and stigma should end. We have to remove the stigma, we need to convey that 95 per cent of the cases are curable," Reddy suggested, and urged the Centre to relax restrictions on interstate transport of goods in the fight against Covid-19. "We have to work together to revive our economy," the Andhra Pradesh CM reiterated.
Arunachal CM Pema Khandu said: "We got an opportunity to ramp up health infrastructure; North East CMs are working together as a team to combat Covid-19." Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi for TrueNat machines for quick COVID-19 testing as a large number of stranded people have begun returning to the northeastern state.
Tamil Nadu CM Palaniswami urged the PM not to allow regular air services till the 31st of May. Because of the increasing number of Covid-19 cases in the state, he didn't want train services to be permitted until 31st of May as well. Palanisamy urged the Centre to release a grant of Rs 2,000 crore to Tamil Nadu, and also requested the central government to clear pending GST dues to state.
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot urged Centre to allow inter-state supply chains to function properly.
A moratorium on repayment of loans, along with the interest thereof, payable by Puducherry to the Centre should be announced, Health and tourism Minister Malladi Krishna Rao said on Monday.
Gujarat CM Rupani sais: "The lockdown has helped contain Covid-19.
We are using the Arogya Setu aap for surveillance and it has helped us immensely." The Gujarat CM said that the lockdown should be limited to containment zones. Economic activities have to start with safety measures. schools and colleges should open after the summer holidays.
Telangana chief minister . Chandrashekar Rao urged the Centre not to resume train services. He expressed concern that resuming train services could spread the coronavirus, and screening and other measures would become difficult. He said the lockdown should be confined to containment zones and should continued. He wanted an immediate response from the Centre for defining zones.
Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Bhagel sought permission from the Centre to allow the state administration to to define red, orange and green zones on its own and decide where restrictions can be eased. He said this would facilitate effective and time bound alert. He also sought funds from the centre for starting relief work and said, "The first train with migrants from Gujarat has reached today. We have asked people without symptoms to home quarantine; we are bringing back our stranded residents at our own cost."
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh pitched for extension of the Covid-19 lockdown, asserting that the exit strategy should consider and focus on fiscal and economic empowerment of states.
Maharashtra should be given central forces as police are under heavy pressure: CM Uddhav Thackeray. "I request that if the need arises the state should be given central forces as police are under heavy pressure and their personnel are also getting infected" Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said during video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi today. He also said that Mumbai local trains should be started again for those engaged in essential services.
Barring containment zones, economic activities should be allowed to resume in Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal said at PM-CMs meet
PM Modi told the CMs that the whole world feels India has been able to successfully protect itself from coronavirus, and said the states played major role in this. "Wherever we have not followed social distancing, our problems have increased," the PM added.
As the Centre weighs a graded exit from the 54-day lockdown, the number of coronavirus cases in India jumped to 67,259 and the death toll rose to 2,212 on Monday, according to Worldometer data.