Maharashtra govt to consult local authorities ahead of video conference with PM

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Mumbai: After resuming local train services for employees of essential and emergency services in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), the Maharashtra government will this week assess the Covid-19 situation and decide on steps to be taken after the lockdown ends on June 30.

Responding to repeated requests from the state government, the railways resumed suburban services on the Central and Western lines for workers of essential and emergency services from Monday. Employees of private essential services and state government employees are allowed to travel in special trains after showing their identity cards.

Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray is scheduled to participate in a video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. Before this conference, the state government is expected to assess the Covid-19 cases in various districts and the steps needed to bring the situation under control before the current lockdown ends.

“There will be meetings with the district and civic administrations by the chief minister this week. Some of the districts have witnessed a spike in cases and deliberations on the containment of the spread are expected during the conference,” a state government official said on condition of anonymity.

The state authorities have directed districts with a growing number of Covid-19 cases to augment medical infrastructure. The officer said Thackeray will also take stock of things after relaxations made under “Mission Begin Again” to decide on steps to be taken over the next few days.

Thackeray has clarified no decision has been made on imposing a fresh lockdown in the state, but he warned the government will be forced to do so if existing restrictions are not followed. “The government is evaluating the situation. If we feel that the lifting of lockdown is life-threatening, then we will be forced to impose the lockdown again,” he had said last week.

Thackeray is also expected to demand Central relief to cope with the damage caused by Cyclone Nisarga in coastal districts of Maharashtra. A Central team headed by joint secretary Ramesh Kumar Ganta is visiting Raigad and Ratnagiri over the next two days to assess the damage caused by the cyclone. “The assessment of the quantum of losses by our machinery will be completed soon and we will be in position to arrive at the relief expected from the Centre. On the basis of that, the chief minister may speak to the prime minister during their conference,” the officer said.

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