No response to our letters till date: Central team to Bengal (Ld)

Kolkata, April 25 (IANS) Alleging non-cooperation by the West Bengal government, the Inter Ministerial Central Teams (IMCT) on Saturday shot off three more letters to the state Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha to know why its missives went unanswered and suggested immediate stricter enforcement of lockdown measures.

“The IMCT has been in Kolkata since 10 am on April 20. Four letters have been written by IMCT till today. No response has been received to any letters till date,” IMCT leader Apurva Chandra said in his communication.

Chandra said the delegation has not received the hard copy of the presentation given by the state Health Secretary on Thursday.

Chandra, an Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Defence, in one of the missives referred to a purported remark by Sinha that “IMCT is free to visit anywhere and senior officers of the state government cannot waste time accompanying the IMCT.”

Chandra said Sinha’s stand was in “violation of the Ministry of Home Affairs order” wherein the state was asked to provide logistic support and facilitate all field visits.

Chandra said the delegation has received complaints of patients unable to contact their family members and relatives, after the state government banned mobile phones in Covid hospitals.

He said many patients who had tested corona negative had to remain in hospital as they could not contact their relatives.

Meanwhile, the other IMCT on a tour to north Bengal suggested immediate stricter implementation of the ongoing lockdown and deployment of more field officers to avoid any further outbreak of coronavirus.

The IMCT team leader Vineet Joshi came up with the suggestions in a letter to Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha after touring parts of Kalimpong and Darjeeling districts.

Joshi in his letter asked the Chief Secretary to furnish details about the measures taken by the state to combat Covid-19 in north Bengal. He also sought a meeting with the Siliguri Police Commissioner.

“As an immediate measure, it is suggested that stricter implementation of lockdown is absolutely necessary to avoid any further outbreak. A larger number of field officers are required to monitor and provide feedback about the effectiveness of various measures undertaken by the government,” Joshi said in the letter.