Chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh said resumption of trains will increase transmission rates and make contact tracing harder.
The chief ministers of at least four states – Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh – have opposed the resumption of train services from Tuesday and asked the Centre to push it back, warning that it would make it harder to identify, isolate and test suspected Covid-19 cases and could lead to chaos in their states.
The CMs voiced their objection in a virtual meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the roadmap for the Covid-19 response as the current lockdown is set to end on May 17.
Citing increasing Covid-19 cases in Tamil Nadu, chief minister K Palaniswami said trains should not be allowed to ply in the state till May 31. He also said flights should not allowed till the month end in the state, where the number of coronavirus cases has crossed the 7,000 mark.
“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 service up to 31.5.2020, in my state,” Palaniswami told Modi.
Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao told the PM that passenger trains should not restart as coronavirus is more prevalent in cities and inter-city travel should be avoided to decrease risk of transmission.
“There are more coronavirus victims in cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. Hence if train services are allowed there would be movement of people from one destination to the other. Nobody knows who is going from where to where. It will not be possible to conduct tests on everyone. It is also difficult to put all those who travelled by trains under quarantine,” he said.