West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday made a slew of announcements, including reaching out to the Centre to resume Metro Railway services from July 1 while following proper Covid-19 guidelines such as social distancing and sanitisation with exact passenger count. However, the Centre, under whose purview the Metro Railway is, is yet to give a nod.
In the same vein, the CM hit out at the Centre, stating that quarantine rules are not being followed, there is no control on domestic passengers and that domestic flights from Coronavirus hotspots to be stopped.
Mamata added international flights should not operate. Speaking about trains from hotspots multiply the Covid-19 count in West Bengal and there was no monitoring, she said there was no testing or tracking of Covid-19 cases for travellers.
"We see all foreign flights started. The Government of India said those arriving will be put in 7-day quarantine, but no health protocol is being followed. How much can we control while some are reckless. So the chief secretary is writing to the GoI to stop foreign flights,” Said CM Banerjee.
“Also in domestic flights, we had the Chennai case where a Covid-19 patient comes in. Imagine the situation. It will be a community spread. So, I request the Govt to stop domestic flights from those areas where the Covid rate is high," added Mamata, who also spoke about lockdown curfew restrictions being reduced to 10pm to 5am instead of 9pm onwards.
Meanwhile, the CM also wrote to PM Modi on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the coal mining, associate processing and selling of coal.
“At the time when the world’s largest coal mining company, Coal India Limited (CIL), is producing 8% of our coal with a profit before tax of Rs27,000 crore (2018-19) and holding a reserve of Rs31,000 crore, the decision of the central government to relax FDI restrictions demeans the capability of CIL. Moreover, allowing 100% FDI in coal for MNCs will send a wrong message, as it would contradict the very essence of ‘Atmanirhar Bharat’ and would also kill the vision of self-reliant policy that we have been following since beginning,” read the letter.
The West Bengal Chief Minister mentioned that moving the desk offices of four subsidiary companies of CIL from Kolkata to their respective headquarters in other areas will be extremely detrimental to the interests of all stakeholders in the coal sector. The June 30 deadline, Mamata said is also not humane towards the employees and their families during the Covid pandemic.