West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday announced the categorisation of the state’s red zones in a bid to revive the economy.
Addressing a press conference at the state secretariat ‘Nabanna’, Banerjee said, “The three categories would be A, B, and C. Nothing will be allowed in areas that fall under ‘A’ category. In the ‘B’ and ‘C’ zones (outside containment area) there will be measured relaxations following guidelines. I have asked police to prepare a ground-report to work in these three zones.”
She said plans are afoot to open some establishments (between 12pm to 6pm) like mobile stores, jewellery shops, food joints (except restaurants) electrical and paint shops. The CM said only takeaways would be allowed in food shops, while all gathering would remain banned at tea stalls.
State-run units of Khadi Bazar, Biswa Bangla Haat, PHE, PWD, Fisheries, Horticulture and Irrigation have also been asked to start operations.
Regarding the Centre’s decision on extension of lockdown, Banerjee said there was lack of planning in its implementation which affected migrant workers and poor people badly.
“There should have been short term, mid-term and long-term strategies before announcing the lockdown. On Monday, during the video conference meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we have urged him to release the funds worth Rs 52,000 crore which we are supposed to get from the Centre. We told him that states must be given liberty to work and deal with the situation,” she added.
Banerjee then showed an empty saucer in an apparent jibe at not having received any funds from the Centre.
When asked about opening of transport services, she said buses and taxi services will only be allowed in green zones, but restricted within the district.
“We have received a request for 100 more trains but we are not in a hurry without getting a clear picture of screening of passengers. To sustain the rural economy, 100-days work will resume slowly. We have given Kishan credit cards cover to 11 lakhs farmers so that they should not deprive of crop insurance,” she said.
The Trinamool Congress supremo also hit out at the BJP for politicising the COVID-19 pandemic. She said there are some people who are misleading people with wrong facts and figures and indulging in communal provocation.
“It is unfortunate that migrant workers from Bengal are facing acute problems in other states. They are not getting food and they don’t
have shelter in places like Bengaluru, Surat, Delhi... Why should this happen? I would like to urge all the other states to help our people who are stuck in their respective states. In Bengal, we are taking good care of migrant workers who are stuck here.”
Regarding a recent incident of communal disharmony in Hooghly district, she said, “Those who indulge in such acts will be dealt with strictly.”