Kolkata, April 21 (IANS) The Inter-Ministerial Central Teams (IMCTs), deployed to Kolkata to assess the Covid-19 management and implementation of lockdown, had remained at a Border Security Force (BSF) facility here till late Tuesday afternoon.
Apurva Chandra, team leader, said the state government informed them that “there are some issues, and we will not be going out”.
The team, which landed here on Monday, had two rounds of meetings — first on Monday and second on Tuesday — with West Bengal Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha.
The team, which has been put up at the BSF Officers’ Institute on Gurusaday Dutta Road in south Kolkata’s Ballygunge, went out in the morning but returned after travelling only 500 meter.
Two Kolkata Police officers soon reached the institute and sought to know the team’s programme for the day. The police then set up posts on both ends of Gurusaday Dutta Road, and started controlling movement of vehicles.
The Centre’s decision to send the team has triggered a row, with the Trinamool Congress government of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee questioning its need.
Banerjee shot off a letter to Prime Minister Nareandra Modi, describing the Centre’s decision as “unilateral”, and alleging that it was sent without prior intimation, causing “breach of established protocol”.
She also dubbed the Centre’s selection of districts with “serious” Covid-19 situation as a “figment of imagination”.
The Home Ministry in a communication on Monday claimed violation of lockdown measures were reported from some districts in the country posing a serious health hazard and risk for spread of Covid-19.
Regarding West Bengal, it said, “The situation is especially serious in Kolkata, Howrah, Medinipur East, 24 Parganas North, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Jalpaiguri districts”.
Adopting a tough stand, the state government had threatened not to allow the IMCT to move around in the state unless it had a clear idea about their needs or why they wanted to go for field visits.
“Till we have a clear idea about what the team needs or why they want to go (to the field) we won’t allow them to move around,” said the Chief Secretary.