New Delhi: As the IRCTC is all set to resume passenger train services from Tuesday, the chief ministers of at least three states – Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh – have opposed the idea and urged PM Modi to reconsider the plan. They said that the resumption of train services would make it tough to identify, isolate and test suspected Covid-19 cases and could lead to spike in coronavirus cases across the country. Also Read - ‘Don't Permit Train or Air Services to Tamil Nadu Till May 31,’ Palaniswami Urges PM Modi
While interacting with PM Modi during video conferencing, the chief ministers voiced their concern and expressed their opinion about the lockdown exit strategy. Also Read - Coronavirus: PM Modi Interacts With Chief Ministers, Asks Them to Move Forward With Balanced Strategy
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Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to resume the passenger train services at this juncture, saying allowing them would lead to movement of people and pose problems in testing them for COVID-19 and quarantining.
He observed that the impact of COVID-19 has been more in major cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad.
The development comes as the IRCTC is planning to run 15 trains from Tuesday on the Rajdhani route from Delhi to all the major cities, including Secunderabad.
“Nobody knows who is going from where to where. It is not possible to conduct tests on everyone. It is also difficult to put all those who travelled by trains under quarantine. Hence, passengers trains should not be allowed to ply,” he said.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami strongly opposed the idea of resumption of the passenger trains and air services and urged PM Modi not to allow them in his state till May 31. He also sought more PCR kits from the Centre to ramp up the ongoing aggressive testing.
“We know from media that regular train service to Chennai (from Delhi) and from Chennai will commence from May 12. As the positive cases in Chennai are showing an increasing trend, don’t permit train services up to 31.5.2020, in my state,” the chief minister told PM Modi.
In Tamil Nadu, a total of 2,43,037 samples had been tested in the state and 7,204 were found positive.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Monday told PM Modi that regular train, air travel, and inter-state bus services should resume after consulting state governments. “Wages for 200 days should be given under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA),” Baghel said.