This is unbelievable – one IAS officer in Meghalaya has the courage to defy PM Narendra Modi’s call for 21-day nationwide lockdown.
Ram Singh, the deputy commissioner of West Garo Hills district defied the national lockdown call and allowed the construction of a wall on AMPT Road at Babupara in Tura.
“In inviting a reference to the above and the letter under reference, I am to inform you that the permission is hereby granted to construct Retaining wall at 133rd KM on AMPT Road near the pharmacy at Babupara during the closure of time subject to provide more than 5 (five) persons are no congregated and social distance is to be maintained,” the DC’s order read.
Lashing out at the DC for passing the order, former Tura MLA John Leslee K Sangma said, “How could the DC overwrite the PM’s order at this time of medical emergency?”
“This order could lead to dire consequences as coronavirus spread through socializing. DC’s order is practically playing to peoples’ lives,” Sangma told Northeast Now on Wednesday.
“Moreover, the lives of the labourers have also been put at risk. How could the IAS officer think that the labourers are immune to Coronavirus?” he said.
The former MLA said the administration, no matter what is the excuse, is endangering the public by being so casual about the lockdown.
“I have talked with the people from the government and they have assured that the work will be stopped immediately,” he said.
The construction is going on for almost a week now and people in the area did not have any problem even during the rush hour.
“So, carrying out the construction during this emergency period is highly condemnable,” Sangma added.
Adding further Sangma said, “This is ridiculous. We all understand the purpose but the example must be followed. A medical emergency is a medical emergency and nothing can undermine it.”
“The IAS officer has set a bad precedence and he has failed to see the bigger picture behind the lockdown,” Sangma added.
Sangma said he will wait and see what happens on Thursday.
“If the construction continues even tomorrow, I will write to the PMO and raise a complaint about the incident,” Sangma said.
He also informed that the labourers engaged in the construction work were reluctant to come to work as well.
“I also spoke to the labourers who said they were reluctant to come to work,” Sangma said.
In the wake of coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday declared national lockdown till April 14 to prevent the spread of the virus.
During this period it was ordered that no person would venture out in open or assemble socially.
Every construction work was also asked to be halted with immediate effect and allowed the operation of emergency services only.
Despite repeated attempts by Northeast Now, there was no response of phone calls on Wednesday afternoon at the office of the Deputy Commissioner of West Garo Hills district.