Closure of borders: Kerala CM writes to PM; Not prohibited

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inter-state travel,says Karnataka Minister Thiruvananthapuram/Bengaluru, Feb 23 (PTI) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday sought the urgent intervention of the Centre on the new COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the Karnataka government on the entry of people from the state.

However, Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar clarified it has not prohibited inter-state travel between it and Kerala.

'Karnataka has not prohibited inter-state travel between Karnataka and Kerala.' 'However, as a precautionary measure, guidelines have been issued that travellers entering Karnataka from Kerala must mandatorily possess a negative RT-PCR test report not older than 72 hours,' Sudhakar said in a tweet with the copy of the Kerala CM's letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and circular issued by the state government.

In a letter to Modi, Vijayan said said many people including students, trucks carrying essential commodities and patients going for medical treatment were put to 'undue hardship' at the state borders due to the new restrictions.

He also brought to the PM's notice that imposing restrictions of inter-state movement of people by states is contrary to the instructions of the government of India.

'I request your urgent intervention in this matter so that hardship of people from Kerala travelling to the neighbouring state of Karnataka can be avoided,' Vijayan said.

Karnataka had last week mandated a negative RT-PCR certificate that is not older than 72 hours for those arriving in the state by flights, buses, trains, personal transport from neighboring Maharashtra and Kerala, following the recent spike in COVID cases there.

Sudhakar on Monday too had clarified that Karnataka had not imposed any restrictions on inter-state travel, but mandated RT-PCR certificates not older than 72 hours for those arriving in the state from neighbouring Kerala and Maharashtra.

Clarifying that no restrictions had been imposed, he said checking negative test reports could have caused some inconvenience to travellers.

With the Karnataka government reinstating stricter control of transit passengers from Kerala in view of increasing COVID-19 positive cases, people bound to Mangaluru and other parts of Dakshina Kannada from here for various purposes, including medical needs and studies, were in a fix.

Long queues of vehicles could be seen in the border areas since Monday as Karnataka authorities sealed many roads, including national highways and restricted entry only for those with COVID-19 negative certificates.

Health and police personnel are on duty at the four border points-- Talapady in Mangalore taluk, Saradka in Bantwal, Nettanige-Mudnuru in Puttur taluk and Jalsoor in Sullia, to verify and allow people's entry into Karnataka.PTI LGK KSU BN BN BN