Mizoram’s lone BJP MLA Dr. BD Chakma on Tuesday said that the poor people were the worst affected by prolonged lockdowns imposed to check the spread of Covid-19 and the state government must find out an alternative measure to deal with the situation.
Hitting out at the Mizo National Front (MNF) government headed by Chief Minister Zoramthanga, he alleged that the state administration is totally confused about how to handle the crisis as repeated lockdowns have failed to yield any result.
“How long the government of Mizoram will save its citizens from Covid-19 by extending the lockdown continuously. The business backbone in the state is fully distorted now. Poor people are about to die due to loss of income,” he said.
The lockdown in state capital Aizawl and all district headquarters was first clamped on May 10 and it was extended several times. In the last extension order which came into force on May 31, it was done only for the Aizawl Municipal Corporation area and it is scheduled to be lifted on June 14.
The poor people have been severely hit due to repeated lockdown and they even have to bear the medical expenses for Covid-19 treatment, the BJP leader claimed.
“The government thinks that lockdown is the only solution to contain the Covid-19 pandemic under the excuse that it has no good health infrastructure,” he said.
Chakma said that there is no sign of a decrease in Covid-19 positive cases all over the state in spite of repeated extensions of lockdown. “So, instead of imposing such prolonged lockdown, the government must find out the reason for this rising Covid-19 cases and act accordingly,” he said and asked the authorities to make public the findings of the research committee on coronavirus it has set up recently.
He suggested that the government upgrade its health infrastructure and extend financial assistance to all families barring those of the salaried people if lockdown is to be extended.
The lockdown is not an issue for government employees as they are being paid regularly, while the income of the poor people has gone down to zero and they do not know how to feed their families, he said.
The government has allocated Rs 400 crore for the implementation of the state’s flagship programme, the Socio-Economic Development Policy (SEDP), for 2021-2022 and a portion of it should be utilised to help the needy, he said.
The pandemic is not going to end so easily and may remain forever like malaria, Chakma claimed. PTI