Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan writes to PM Modi; Accuses Karnataka of blocking key state highway

South India

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has drawn the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the action of Karnataka police in blocking a key state highway ferrying essential commodities to the state and urged him to immediately intervene in the matter.


In a letter to Modi, the Chief Minister pointed out that the Thalassery-Coorg State Highway 30, connecting Kerala with Coorg in Karnataka via Veerajapetta, was a key highway on which cargo lorries ferry essential commodites to Kerala.

Pinarayi Vijayan requested the Prime Minister to urgently intervene in the matter so essential commodities will have to travel through a longer route to reach Kerala. 

"This route is a lifeline for the flow of essential commodities to Kerala. If this is blocked, vehicles carrying essential commodities will have to travel a much longer route to reach our state”, CM stated.

“Given the situation of the national lockdown, this will add much more hardship to the people”, he said in the letter, which sent on Friday.

“You will naturally agree with me that no action impeding the movement of essential commodities should be initiated at this moment of crisis", he said.

Vijayan requested Modi to intervene urgently in the matter to ensure smooth flow of essential commodities to Kerala when the state is fighting COVID-19 on a war footing.

The total number of coronavirus patients in the country has surged to 873 on Saturday.

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the total number of active cases in the country rose to 775, while 78 patients have been cured and discharged.

As per the official data, the death toll due to the novel coronavirus in the country has reached 19, while one patient has migrated.

While Maharashtra with 180 cases has the most number of COVID-19 patients, Kerala comes second in the list with 173 confirmed cases, as of 9:30 am according to the Ministry.

However, the tally of Maharashtra and Kerala also includes cured and discharged patients, 25 and 11 respectively.

Starting from Tuesday midnight, India is under 21-day lockdown to curb the spread of novel coronavirus. 

In a televised address to the nation on Tuesday, Prime Minister Modi said that it is vital to break the chain of the disease and experts have said that at least 21 days are needed for it. Social distancing is the only option to deal with the disease.

The Prime Minister said the lockdown has drawn a "Lakshman Rekha" in every home and people should stay indoors for their own protection and for that of their families.

Coronavirus, which originated in China's Wuhan city in December last year, has so far spread to more than 160 countries. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared coronavirus a pandemic. 

Only the essential services like grocery shops, medical outlets remain functional during the lockdown.


With inputs from PTI



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