Guwahati/Shillong, May 12 : Most northeastern states are keen to restart economic activities, and public services in a larger way and stress on strengthening the health infrastructure, as per their Chief Ministers’ views shared in the video conference meet with the Prime Minister.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, however, demanded extension of the ongoing lockdown for two more weeks beyond May 17.
After the meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video link, on Monday, the Chief Ministers of the northeastern states tweeted or expressed their views through different channels about their resolve to strengthen the collective fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, and their view of the way ahead.
According to officials, Sonowal had said that they had been able to contain the spread of coronavirus due to the lockdown, and it should continue for two more weeks.
“Relaxation would mean that people would start taking things lightly. Hence, we have to be careful in the opening of inter-state movement. Inter-state movement should be kept limited. There should be gap of at least one week for a single train movement to Assam,” he had said, as an official of Assam CM’s secretariat.
Sonowal also urged the Prime Minister to ensure devolution grants would be released in subsequent months. He told Modi that tea industry has been hit hard during the first phase of lockdown, but with easing of norms, they had been able to resume farm activities.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma suggested formation of economic zones on regional basis for the benefit of all states.
“Same policies would not work in the whole country and therefore, micro management and planning must be encouraged so strategies can be more effective,” Sangma said in a Facebook post.
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu said that the lockdown greatly helped to slow down the spread of corinavirus in the country.
Calling for a relook at the poor health infrastructures, Khandu said that the entire northeastern states are working collectively as a team to fight the pandemic.
Pointing out that the economy needs a thrust in times of corona, he said the northeast region has huge potential for investment and urged the Prime Minister to continue working to bring investment in the state.
Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, in a tweet, said: “I request the Centre to lift the current lockdown in a staggered manner. Abrupt lifting of the lockdown may prove disastrous.”
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb tweeted: “A range of issues on COVID-19 situation has been discussed. Also apprised the PM about the steps taken by our Govt to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.”