Updated: May 13, 2020 3:54:15 pm
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to start Mumbai suburban railway services for the use of those working in essential services. He also asked for deployment of Central forces so that the overstretched and overworked state police could be given some relief, and for the Union government to disburse the pending GST dues and the entire amount of tax devolution to the state immediately.
A statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office quoted Uddhav as saying: “The suburban railway services should be started and it should be only for the employees working in the essential sectors. They can be allowed to board locals after checking their identity cards.”
The issue of starting the Mumbai suburban railway was raised by Bahujan Vikas Aghadi MLA Hitendra Thakur in the all-party meeting, chaired by Uddhav, last Thursday. Thakur had said that it would help those in essential services to follow social distancing norms and travel safely.
Stating that the inter-ministerial central teams that had visited Mumbai and Pune had given useful suggestions, Uddhav assured PM of his government’s cooperation at the virtual meeting on Monday.
“The doctors, other medical staff and police are working day and night. Specially, police personnel need some rest, as they are involved in law and order work. It will not be good if they fall ill. So, if the Union government provides us manpower as and when required, it will help reduce the burden on the police,” he said.
He also requested that hospitals and ICU beds belonging to central agencies, such as Mumbai Port Trust and the Army, be made available to the state.
Further, Uddhav asked the PM for “concrete and firm directions” on the lockdown, which could be implemented by the state government.
The CM also sought that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) should to give the go-ahead to banks for providing crop loans to farmers who have not yet received the benefits of the farm loan waiver scheme. “The crop loan waiver scheme was started in Maharashtra before the Covid-19 crisis. But some districts, especially in Vidarbha, could not avail the benefits. Now, the Kharif season has started. So, the Centre should instruct the RBI to give crops loans to these farmers who are yet to avail the benefits of the loan waiver scheme. It will be benefit 10 lakh farmers in the state,” Uddhav said.
He also requested that pending GST dues and the entire amount of tax devolution should be disbursed to the state immediately. He further suggested that the states need to take precaution while transporting migrants to avoid the spread of Covid-19. “Many people have been stranded since the last two months. Labourers from other states are keen on returning home and the people from Maharashtra, who are stuck in other states, are also coming back. Since these labourers are traveling from various zones, all of us need to take better precaution,” he said.
Uddhav also suggested that a task of force of doctors, on the lines of one set up in Mumbai and Pune, should be set up at the national level.
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