CM takes up border closure with Modi

Updated - March 27, 2020 11:41 pm IST

Published - March 27, 2020 11:39 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

The Karnataka Police have blocked the inter-State corridor with Kerala at Makkoottam by dumping earth to prevent the movement of vehicles.

The Karnataka Police have blocked the inter-State corridor with Kerala at Makkoottam by dumping earth to prevent the movement of vehicles.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday said he was dismayed that the neighbouring Karnataka had constructed earth embankments across roads to wall off Kerala almost permanently from that State at the time of the COVID-19 crisis that has affected both the regions gravely.

Mr. Vijayan said he had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the development. He said Karnataka had violated the Centre’s directive to keep inter-State borders open for emergency traffic and freight during the nationwide lockdown. Chronically ill persons in Kasaragod, considered a high-risk epidemic locality, depend heavily on medical facilities in neighbouring Mangaluru in Karnataka for a range of treatments, including dialysis and cancer care.

Mr. Vijayan said the Karnataka authorities had piled inter-State border roads high with mud at multiple points on its side, hindering the movement of ambulances and essential freight. Chief Secretary Tom Jose had raised the issue with his counterpart in Karnataka.

In some localities, the earthwork constructed by Karnataka encroach upon Kerala’s territory.

Mr. Vijayan said Mr. Modi had spoken to him over the phone in the morning. “The PM has appreciated the efforts by Kerala to combat the pandemic that has brought great Western powers to their knees. Mr. Modi said Kerala could approach him at any time,” he said.

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