Covid-19: Congress cautions TS Govt against unplanned un-lock

Hyderabad, June 8: Former Minister and ex-Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir has cautioned the State Government against the unplanned un-lock and said it could prove more disastrous than the unplanned lockdown imposed since March 22 to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

Speaking to media persons through social media platform Facebook on Monday, Shabbir Ali said that the Central and State Governments committed serious blunders while imposing the lockdown which had to be extended four times within a span of 60 days. “It was done in such a haphazard manner that their possible implications were totally ignored. Consequently, rules were changed frequently causing huge inconvenience to the common man. It completely ruined the economy and all sections of the society, especially poor and middle classes were badly affected. Both BJP Govt at the Centre and TRS Govt in Telangana were repeating the same mistake in imposing the un-lock,” he said.

Shabbir Ali said that all religious places were allowed to re-open from today but nothing has been done to implement safety measures. “State Government should have taken up the sanitisation of all places of worship or it should’ve at least trained the managements on how cleaning, sanitisation, marking for social distancing and other measures should’ve been done. Random guidelines were issued without any clarity. No nodal agency was appointed to oversee the entire operations and certify that those places of worship were safe for the devotees to visit. Similarly, he said that the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for re-opening of restaurants and shopping malls were not clearly defined,” he said.

The Congress leader said that the State Government did not even sanitize or did social distance marking in places of worship which are directly under its control. Citing an instance, he said historic Mecca Masjid and Royal Mosque at Public Gardens were reportedly not opened for general public today due to lack of instructions from the departments concerned.

Shabbir Ali also condemned the State Government for the inflated electricity bills served to domestic consumers this month. He said there were lot of discrepancies in the billing process and consumption of units were taken in cumulative manner for 90 days which pushed almost all the consumers in upper category wherein they were charged Rs. 9 per unit instead of Rs. 4.30 per unit. He demanded that the State Government order withdrawal of all the electricity bills and generate fresh bills on regular format on the basis of average monthly consumption. “Chief Minister Chandrashekhar Rao has been asking the landlords not to collect rent for three months during lockdown and recover the amount in instalments in future. Similarly, he is asking the private firms to pay full salaries to their staff. However, the Chief Minister himself has deducted 50% salaries for government staff. The State Government wants common people to make adjustments amongst themselves. But CM KCR is not willing to give any relief to the people like waiving off electricity or water bills,” he said.

The Congress leader also expressed serious concern over rise in the number of Coronavirus cases ever since the relaxation in lockdown. “India has acquired fifth position in highest number of cases in the world in a very short span of time. This clearly shows the negligent approach of the government, both at the Central and State level. The situation in Telangana has been turning worse as more than 70 doctors, nursing staff, police personnel and even journalists got infected with the Covid-19. The State Government has failed to provide safety equipment or take precautionary measures to protect the frontline warriors in the battle against Coronavirus,” he said.

Shabbir Ali demanded that the State Government take immediate measures to protect the doctors and other medical staff, police personnel, sanitation staff and journalists from the Covid-19 infection. He said that the condition in hospitals needs to be improved. He said there were complaints that about 20 patients were being forced to share one bathroom in Gandhi Hospital and they were unable to take a bath even once in three days. He said Gandhi Hospital has been filled to the capacity due to rise in number of cases and the State Government, despite tall claims, was not ready with another hospital to treat Covid-19 patients. He said unpreparedness and callous attitude of TRS Government was responsible for the rising number of cases and deaths.

He said CM KCR has visited irrigation projects twice during the lockdown period without wearing a mask or maintaining social distance. By doing so, he has set a wrong precedent and gave a wrong message to the people that their lives or deaths does not matter to him as he was only interested in projects that could bring him commissions and kickbacks.

The Congress leader appealed to the people to take all precautions to protect themselves from the Coronavirus as the Central and State Governments were not doing enough to protect their lives.

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