Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Spokesperson Syed Nizamuddin on Tuesday said that the State Government should extend the ongoing lockdown period only with a comprehensive plan and not in a haphazard manner as it did from March 22.
Speaking to media persons, the TPCC Spokesperson said that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao might be justified in appealing the Central Government for extending the lockdown to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. However, he said that both the Central and State Governments should do a serious review on the implications of ongoing lockdown.
“There are two categories of people affected due to the Coronavirus. The immediate victims are those affected with the disease or those suspected of having it. Second, are the victims of lockdown.
Daily wage earners, vendors, cab and auto drivers, migrant workers, etc., are immediate victims. Owners and employees of small businesses are the other victims. While the State Government is taking care of patients or suspected persons, it should also clarify what it did for the victims of lockdown. In the name of saving their lives, the government is actually ruining their lives completely,” he alleged.
Nizamuddin said their crores of people have lost their livelihood due to total lockdown since March 22. He said daily wage earners and even salaried class had no savings to stock food for 21 days as it was the month-end. Whatever money they had was already spent in the first two weeks of March. Therefore, they were left with nothing when the lockdown was announced, he said.
“Telangana Govt has so far announced only one relief measure – 12 kg rice and Rs. 1500 for 87 lakh White Ration holders. Nothing is even promised for other poor or middle-class people. Not even 50% of BPL families got rice and no one got Rs. 1500 in their accounts. Can the government explain how people could have managed with nothing during the last 15-16 days? How will they manage for the remaining 8 days and if KCR’s proposal of two-week extension is implemented, how they will manage for the next three weeks?” he asked.
The Congress leader said that a majority of the population was being forced to beg for food from others. “Will the Chief Minister announces his plan to feed the entire State for the remaining period of lockdown?” he asked.
Nizamuddin said people would get their electricity and water bills for the lockdown period. Since many shops and houses are rented, the owners will certainly charge rent for the lockdown period, even if they consider late payment.
Many companies will have no option but to lay off employees as not many of them will have so much cash reserves to pay to their staff without work and without any revenues. CM KCR should announce total waiver for electricity and water bills for the lockdown period, he demanded.
The TPCC Spokesperson said that the academic calendar of Telangana has been shattered completely. But the parents will be forced to school fee even for the lockdown period. “If they don’t pay a fee, how will the schools pay salaries to the teachers and other staff? Everything is interlinked. Will the government give Fee-Reimbursement for all school and college students for two months?” he asked.
Nizamuddin said that CM KCR has claimed that the source of Coronavirus has been identified and contained and over 25,000 people have been quarantined.
“If the sources are known, then the government can intensify the vigil on suspects or go aggressive on hot spots instead of targetting the entire population. Many relaxations can be given in the lockdown and public places could be regulated to ensure social distancing. Tests can be conducted at a massive scale to get the real scenario instead of estimations,” he suggested.
Further, the Congress leader said Coronavirus was not the only disease affecting people in Telangana State. He said there were lakhs of patients suffering from heart, kidney and other serious ailments. He alleged that those patients were being deprived of regular treatment.
He said in the name of preventing Coronavirus, the measures being implemented by the government should not deteriorate the health of patients suffering from other serious ailments. He also demanded that the government should not violate the basic human rights in the name of managing Coronavirus pandemic.