With one of Goa’s two districts classified as red zone, as it still has active COVID-19 cases, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday said that since villages in neighbouring Maharahstra’s Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg are still under watch, and Belgaum in Karnataka reporting confirmed cases, the coastal state is implementing stringent measures to seal the state’s boundaries.
“I have asked them (officials) to be strict at the boundaries. A tunnel zone will be set up at the state borders if it is medically permitted. The driver should go through that (tunnel) and only then be allowed to drive in,” Sawant said.
While South Goa district has been marked in the green zone, with zero cases, North Goa is in the red zone.
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announcing extension of the lockdown up to May 3, Sawant also admitted that the state’s suggestion for a partial relaxation after the initial period of lockdown got over on Wednesday was not heeded to. Stating that “we felt some relaxation to come by April 15”, Sawant said buses which were arranged to ferry government employees have now been called back.
“With a view to restart some activity from April 15 we had issued some circulars; even some offices which were to be reopened from April 15 will now postponed to April 20,” he said.
On migrant workers left stranded in Goa, Sawant said, “The relaxations will be known by tomorrow. Every person who is here should stay here. We are helping everybody through. The Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh had called, saying that one person was threatening to commit suicide…we checked on that — he (the person) wanted to leave the camp. We have taken care of him.”
One of the long-term plans now being looked into is the plan to study how panchayats can be self-sustainable. “The study is on in consultation with college professors,” the Chief Minister said. “What each panchayat can produce – and how it can be marketed. By the end of May each model report will be ready.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines