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Karnataka-Kerala border blockade: consensus reached, Centre tells SC

A bullet tanker and a goods truck headed for Kerala at the Talapady check-post on NH 66.   | Photo Credit: Anil Kumar Sastry

The Supreme Court on Tuesday disposed of a bunch of petitions concerning the Kerala-Karnataka border sealing case after the Union government informed that a consensus had been worked out to allow patients requiring urgent medical treatment to cross the Talapadi border and access the hospitals in Mangaluru.

Appearing before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said a meeting was held among the Union Home Secretary and the Chief Secretaries of the two States to amicably resolve the crisis. An agreement had been reached on the parameters and protocol for allowing medical patients into Karnataka.

Also read: Karnataka to allow non-COVID patients from Kerala, says Pinarayi Vijayan

On April 3, the court ordered the Centre, Kerala and Karnataka to confer immediately and “formulate parameters for passage of patients for urgent medical treatment at the inter-State border at Talapadi”. The court then listed the case on April 7.

The April 3 order was based on petitions highlighting how Karnataka had enforced a blockade which, the court was informed, had resulted in deaths as ambulances bound for Mangaluru were not being permitted to cross the border.

Also read: 25-member medical team sent to worst-affected Kasaragod

The petitions asked the court to intervene to facilitate free movement of vehicles carrying persons who need urgent medical treatment across the border.

Karnataka had argued that the blockade was put in place in the interest of public health. The situation regarding coronavirus was “really dire”. Kerala was the “worst-affected” State in the country, with nearly 194 coronavirus cases. In this, Kasaragod, adjoining Karnataka, was the “worst-affected” district of Kerala with over a 100 positive cases, it said.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 5:09:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka-kerala-border-blockade-consensus-reached-centre-tells-sc/article31278293.ece

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