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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Shut containment zones, open all else: Delhi CM appeal

A Delhi government official confirmed the proposal, adding that the CM also demanded devolution of more funds for Delhi from the finance commission. Delhi’s share in central taxes — Rs 325 crore — has remained unchanged since 2000.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: May 12, 2020 3:09:16 am
coronavirus, COVID-19, coronavirus Delhi, Delhi coronavirus cases, delhi containment zones, arvind kejriwal appeal, delhi news, arvind kejriwal to pm modi, cm pm meeting, indian express A Delhi government official confirmed the proposal, adding that the CM also demanded devolution of more funds for Delhi from the finance commission. Delhi’s share in central taxes — Rs 325 crore — has remained unchanged since 2000.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal once again appealed to the Centre on Monday to keep containment zones under lockdown, while opening up the rest of the national capital, which has so far registered 7,233 coronavirus cases.

Kejriwal shared his proposal at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s video conference with chief ministers to chart the way ahead in the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic.

A Delhi government official confirmed the proposal, adding that the CM also demanded devolution of more funds for Delhi from the finance commission. Delhi’s share in central taxes — Rs 325 crore — has remained unchanged since 2000.

Kejriwal, during his May 3 webcast, had emphasised that Delhi made good use of the lockdown to strengthen its medical infrastructure, urging the Centre to reassess the classification of 11 districts in Delhi as red zones.

Between May 3 and May 11, while the number of active cases have gone up from 3,123 to 5,031, the number of containment zones in the city have come down from 94 to 81. Till May 3, a little over one-third of the active Covid-19 cases in the city had come from these sealed clusters, according to official records.

Among the 19 areas de-contained so far, three belong to Southeast district, six fall under East district, two in New Delhi, seven in West district and one in Central district.

An area can be desealed only after 28 days from the registration of the last active case. Three districts of the city — Southeast, Central and North — are under the scanner of the Centre for high confirmation rate, fatality rate and doubling rate.

Officials have pointed out that a municipal ward-wise classification would better suit Delhi, which has a population of over 2 crore spread across 272 wards. Currently, around 5.52 lakh people are residing in the containment zones.

The Kejriwal government has been urging the Centre to keep only the containment zones under lockdown.

A Delhi government spokesperson said: “The CM pointed out that the district-wise formula is impractical in a densely-populated city like Delhi. Instead, categorisation of red zones should be done on the basis of containment zones. That can be worked upon and the number of zones can be revised based on the ground situation. But non-containment zones should be opened up.”

AAP national spokesperson Raghav Chadha said: “Every state gets their share of Central taxes except Delhi. We have not been paid GST dues of December and January. Moreover, Delhi has not received a penny in terms of money released by the Centre to states to mount relief efforts.”

“The task of the Centre is to lay out the broad contours of any strategy. The fine tuning should be left to the states,” he said.

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