Chandigarh, April 05, 2020 (Yes Punjab News)
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today asked chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh to call an all-party meeting immediately to evolve solutions for the problems being faced by the people due to the long spell of curfew imposed in the State to combat COVID-19.
In a letter written to the CM, the SAD president said the extended curfew had resulted in a number of problems for the masses, including farmers, health workers, traders and daily wagers.
“We need to find solutions for these problems immediately before they spiral out of control, leaving behind a trail of destruction in every sector and compounding the sufferings of every segment of the society”.
Mr Sukhbir Badal said even though harvesting and procurement of wheat crop was on the anvil, there was a huge shortage of labour as well as Combine harvesters in the state due to the lockdown in force across the country.
“Besides this, special arrangements need to be made including lifting of the purchased crop as large gatherings of farmers and traders cannot be allowed due to the threat of Coronavirus”. Stressing the need to resolve these issues quickly, he said they had the capacity to create a food scarcity in the country.
Speaking about the badly affected supply chain of essential items in the state, the SAD president said the long spell of curfew has left many people without food items including medicines, fruits and vegetables.
“These basic supplies must be restored to every citizen of the state as it will help the state administration in keeping every Punjabi indoors and make this fight against the contagious Coronavirus really effective”. He said the supply of animal feed had also been disrupted and steps should be taken to bring it back on rail.
Apprising the CM about the lack of health care facilities in this war against COVID-19, the SAD president said the medicals staff including doctors and nurses treating Coronavirus patients did not have access to protective medical gear including PPE kits.
“Hospitals are facing acute shortage of ventilators, medicines and other medical equipment. How can our front-line workers fight this battle when they do not have even the protection kits to save themselves from the deadly virus,” he said adding government should find ways to make all hospitals and medical staff well equipped in this time of crisis.
Mr Badal said the tragic death of renowned Ragi Bhai Nirmal Singh Khalsa after suffering from COVID-19 amid denial of proper treatment at the government hospital in Amritsar had filled the Sikh community with rage and despair.
“People have completely lost trust in the government health facilities providing treatment to Coronavirus patients. It is unfortunate that despite proof of an audio clip telling about the ill treatment meted out to Bhai Khalsa, the state government has tried to hush up this matter by giving a clean chit to for it”. He said the manner in which Bhai Khalsa was denied last rites had also hurt the sentiments of the Sikh community.
The SAD president also pointed out that the curfew has stopped all business activities in the state, pushing traders, industrialists as well as medium and small entrepreneurs into huge losses.
He said poor and daily wagers are amongst the most affected class in the state as they did not have any means to feed their families. He also apprised the CM about the Sikh pilgrims stranded at Nanded Sahib and the need to get them back to their home State.
Mr Badal requested the CM to discuss all these issues thread bare at the all-party meeting, so that the People of Punjab could be made to stay indoors and help the state machinery in its fight against the dreaded pandemic.