INDIA’S MIDDLE STATE SQUEEZED HARD BY ITS GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION
By L.S. Herdenia
Besides taking care of the corona-related problems Madhya Pradesh has to bear the brunt caused by migrant labourers from all over the country travelling back to their homes. This additional problem is being caused due to the geographical location of the state. Migrant labourers leaving Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and also from the southern states and on their way to UP, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal have to pass through Madhya Pradesh.
State governments of various states leave labourers on the border of Madhya Pradesh. In several cases MP government has to make arrangements for their onward journey. At many places because of delay and other problems they create law and order problem. In order to avoid such problems which in many cases culminate in clashes with the Police Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has sought help from the Chief Ministers of several states.
Chouhan has written letters to the chief ministers of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Telangana, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. Chouhan has sought details about labourers passing through Madhya Pradesh to other states. He said if timely information is available adequate arrangements can be made for their onward travel and food. In his letters, Chouhan has written to the CMs that since MP does not get to know how many labourers from other states are reaching the state borders and sometimes it becomes difficult to make logistics available.
Chouhan said in the letter that free arrangement for food, vehicles and medicines are made by the MP government. Due to lack of prior information about the movement of the labourers, many times the system gets disturbed when large number of labourers come and create law and order situation due to panic and the labourers also have to face difficulties.
In the letter, Chouhan has said that during the nationwide lockdown announced to tackle Corona, large number of migrant labourer from different parts are leaving for their respective states. Due to the geographical location of MP being in the heart of the country the labourers going to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and many other states from different states are crossing MP.
MP government is providing vehicles, food, medicines free of cost to these migrant labourers coming to their border, besides providing them bus facility to those walking and stopping them at the borders. About one thousand buses have been deployed to ferry the labourers of other states from the border of MP to the border of other states. MP government has ensured that no labourer walks on the soil of the state.
Meanwhile Indore and Bhopal continue to cause concern to the state government. The Covod-19 tally crossed the 1,000 mark in the state capital on Saturday. On Friday the tally was 954, going by reporting of new cases from the office of the chief medical and health officer. On Saturday, 46 positive cases were reported in Bhopal. Four patients were discharged from AIIMS Bhopal after they recovered from Covid-19 here on Saturday. Jehangirabad reported 16 new cases while there were three cases in Jatkhedi, 10 in koh-e-fiza and four in Shyamla Hills, among others. The first case of Covid- 19 in Bhopal was reported on March 22.
According to a Gandhi Medical College (GMC) official, 18 people who tested positive are international returnees as part of the Vande Bharat mission – the country’s massive repatriation endeavour.
In all, there were 234 people who returned to India on Thursday and have been quarantined at the 3EME centre facility in Bairagarh on the outskirts of the state capital. All were tested for Covod-19. Some of the sample test results are still pending. Age demographics of the returnees has not been disclosed. Those who tested negative would also be under quarantine for 14 days.
Six of the 18 people who tested positive are in serious condition. Only one person who tested positive is from Madhya Pradesh. Those who tested positive include three female between 35 and 50 years of age. They are from Kerala, Telangana and Goa. Others are males from Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhara Pradesh, Karnataka and Punjab.
Indore crossed one more grim milestone on Saturday — it recorded its 100th death. On March 25, Indore had its first four Corona cases, and it is now closing in on 2,500.
The Indore administration reported 92 more Covod-19 cases and one more death on Saturday taking its toll to 100. Its Corona count now stands at 2,470- 50% of the states tally. The emerging hotspots of MP continue to spark concern — Burhanpur recorded 27 new cases, Khandwa 15 and Ujjain and Gwalior 12 each. To add to the worry, Umaria reported its first Covid-19 case, making it the 44th district in MP to figure on the Corona map.
Heartrendingly though, eight of these 45 districts no longer have any active patient- those who were detected positive have recovered and gone home, and a few have died.So far nearly 1 lakh reports have been received by the government, of which around 5% have come positive.
While taking care of Corona related problems Chouhan is devoting a lot of time on the ticklish issue of cabinet expansion. At present besides Chouhan there are five other ministers. Sources in BJP disclosed that Chouhan is constantly discussing with the party high command on the possibility of cabinet expansion. Once he gets the go ahead, he will be ready to expand his ministerial team in the first week of lockdown 4.0 itself.
BJP state in-charge Vinay Sahasrabuddhe also made clear that the cabinet expansion will be done at the right time. “The cabinet expansion is taking time since the government is busy in tackling the ongoing Covid crisis. it will be done at the right time” he said.
BJP leaders also made it clear that the formation of the new government took place with the support of former Union minister Scindia and his supporters. The party high command has clearly indicated that they will be adjusted first, added sources. The party leadership has also hinted that those who served as ministers in the previous Congress government will be included. Decision on other members, including senior MLAs will be taken after discussions with the national leadership.