Why Did Centre’s Inter-Ministerial Team Visit North Bengal?

Why Did Centre’s Inter-Ministerial Team Visit North Bengal
The fight between the Centre and the state in West Bengal reached a political climax when two teams, known as the Inter Ministerial Central Teams, or the IMCTs, were sent to Kolkata by the Centre on 20 April. These teams, which were sent to other states as well, were to assess the lockdown and medical infrastructure in the state and report back to the Centre with their findings.
However, since the outset, the Mamata Banerjee government has been questioning the need to send these teams on two grounds –
  1. Why were they sent without consultation with the state government?
  2. Why are these teams visiting spots like Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Jalpaiguri which haven’t reported a COVID positive case in the last many days – succinctly implying that the reason may be more political than factual.


    The fight between the Centre and the state in West Bengal reached a political climax when two teams, known as the Inter Ministerial Central Teams, or the IMCTs, were sent to Kolkata by the Centre on 20 April. These teams, which were sent to other states as well, were to assess the lockdown and medical infrastructure in the state and report back to the Centre with their findings.
    However, since the outset, the Mamata Banerjee government has been questioning the need to send these teams on two grounds –
    1. Why were they sent without consultation with the state government?
    2. Why are these teams visiting spots like Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Jalpaiguri which haven’t reported a COVID positive case in the last many days – succinctly implying that the reason may be more political than factual.


            The Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat (which includes the Kalimpong Assembly segment) was won by the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, as was the Jalpaiguri Lok Sabha seat.

    Sources in the state BJP say that it is on the recommendation of legislatures from the party that the IMCT decided to visit these North Bengal regions.
    This was further confirmed by the BJP MP from Darjeeling, Raju Bista.
    “COVID-19 response in North Bengal was horrendous to begin with. There was no proper isolation or quarantine facilities, hospitals severely lack equipment, there is acute shortage of doctors, nurses, and medical staff, and the government of West Bengal was conspicuous by their absence,” Bista told The Quint. “Even basic safety kits like PPE, N95 masks, sanitisers were not provided to our hospital staff. They sent raincoats instead of PPE. There was no protocol in place to deal with any COVID-19 cases.”
    “I had raised these issues and requested a central team of experts to ascertain our COVID-19 response, to make us aware of the loopholes, and how to plug them,” he added.
    According to the state government, the last COVID-19 case in Darjeeling was reported on 16 April, in Jalpaiguri on 4 April, and in Kalimpong on 2 April.
    While the state government does not release district-wise figures of COVID-19 positive cases, The Quint spoke to the local administration in these districts to get a sense of how many cases they recorded.
    According to sources, there were a total of 11 cases reported from Kalimpong and Jalpaiguri together. The district administration puts the number as seven in Kalimpong and four from Jalpaiguri. Till date, one death has also been reported from Kalimpong.
    In Darjeeling, the district administration puts the number of total positive cases at four.
    In terms of medical facilities, the burden of COVID-19 cases from all three of these districts falls on the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital located in Siliguri.

     
     https://www.thequint.com
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The fight between the Centre and the state in West Bengal reached a political climax when two teams, known as the Inter Ministerial Central Teams, or the IMCTs, were sent to Kolkata by the Centre on 20 April.

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