Kolkata, May 15 (PTI) The West Bengal government will go with the Centre on its decision on the lockdown given the situation on the ground, but at the same time, it wants the states to be allowed to decide on relaxations in their respective areas, sources in the ruling TMC said on Friday.
While there has been no official confirmation about the state's recommendation to the Centre on the lockdown, the sources in the Trinamool Congress (TMC) said the Bengal government believes that the lockdown should continue for the time being, in view of the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases across the country.
The nationwide lockdown induced by the coronavirus pandemic had begun on March 23 and its third phase is scheduled to end on May 17.
All states were asked by the Centre during a video-conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 11 to convey their recommendations and suggestions to the Union government by May 12.
The TMC sources said the state government is keen on having more relaxations during the lockdown and wants clarity on the resumption of rail and air services.
'A strict implementation of the lockdown and resumption of transport services cannot go hand in hand,' they said.
'Our (TMC's) stance is clear -- the states are at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19 and so they are the best judge of the situation. They should be allowed to decide on relaxations and what all can be allowed during the lockdown, given its field situation and capabilities,' the sources said.
West Bengal wants more autonomy to decide on the marking of 'zones' during the lockdown, namely green, orange and red, according to the COVID-19 situation, they said.
It also wants the Centre to release its 'legitimate dues' so that it can fight the battle against COVID-19 more effectively.
'It does not seem that there will be any immediate relief from either COVID-19 or the lockdown due to it. We have to learn to live with it. We will support the Centre's call on the lockdown, but there should be proper clarity on the issue of resumption of transport services,' the sources iterated.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address to the nation on Monday, had said lockdown 4.0 would have a 'completely different form' with a new set of rules. PTI PNT KK RC