The West Bengal unit of the BJP asked Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday to reconsider her proposal for resumption of metro rail services in the metropolis, terming it a “disastrous proposition” as it might endanger the lives of common people.
The chief minister had recently expressed the desire for the metro services to restart from July 1.
State Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha had on Tuesday urged Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla in a letter to allow resumption of limited metro rail services in Kolkata to facilitate the movement of essential service workers.
Metro services are not available anywhere in the country currently owing to the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
In an open letter to Ms Banerjee, state BJP vice-president Ritesh Tiwari said her statement about taking up the issue of resumption of underground services with the metro authorities goes against the spirit of fighting the pandemic.
“On June 29, you told journalists that long-distance trains from five COVID-19 hotspots will not be allowed and suggested that international flights should be stopped and domestic flights should operate once a week.
“However, at the same media briefing, you impressed on resumption of metro train services. As far as the information available in the public domain is concerned, the railways has cancelled all regular train services till August 12,” Mr Tiwari said in the letter.
“On one hand you do not want to resume train services, but you are becoming impatient to start the Kolkata Metro services. What is it that you exactly want? Why should the common people of Kolkata and the suburbs pay the price for your restlessness and indecisiveness?” the BJP leader asked the chief minister.
“Such contradictions and conflicts are putting the lives of common people in danger, people are confused,” he said.
Wondering whether Ms Banerjee “actually cared for people”, the BJP leader said, “As the chief minister, you should concentrate your efforts in strengthening the crumbling infrastructure and ensure that commuters get transport rather than putting pressure on the railways to resume (Metro) services.”
Mr Tiwari pointed out that COVID-19 cases are rising rapidly in the state and “about a dozen people are dying daily.”
“Your insistence on opening everything will have an adverse effect and the people will pay a heavy price. Even when the lockdown was in force, there was no strict implementation in the state,” he said