The decision to block the highway between Karnataka and Kerala, running through Mangaluru and Kasaragod regions of the two states, cannot be reversed since it would jeopardise lives of people in Mangaluru region, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has stated in a letter to former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has raised the issue with both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, stating that many people in north Kerala’s Kasaragod district, which is closer to Mangaluru than other places in Kerala, have died for want of medical attention since the border is closed.
Deve Gowda, chief of JD(S), had written to Yediyurappa on March 31 to allow people from Kasaragod and nearby places in Kerala to use hospital facilities in Mangaluru on humanitarian grounds.
In a letter dated April 4, Yediyurappa stated, “If I had not taken this decision it would have destroyed the peace of people of my state. It would have amounted to inviting death. Keeping the welfare of people of Karnataka in mind, it is the view of my government that the road blockade cannot be removed. The decision to close the highway between Karnataka and Kerala was not a unilateral decision. It was taken after serious consideration of the health risks posed by the coronavirus epidemic in the border region.”
The Karnataka CM wrote, “Karnataka government received information of the large number of coronavirus cases in Kasaragod region of Kerala. The Indian Medical Association [IMA] in Mangaluru conveyed terrifying information about the spread of the virus in Kasaragod. Kerala government is also aware of this. As many as 106 coronavirus cases have been reported in Kasargod alone and it is one of the worst affected regions in the country.”
He stated that the decision to impose a “full blockage” of the highway was taken on the basis of “inputs of IMA and other experts”.
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