Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said it was wrong to impose the lockdown suddenly and now it cannot be lifted all at once.
“It was wrong to impose the lockdown suddenly. It will be equally wrong to lift it in one go. It will be a double whammy for our own people," he said in a televised message.
Amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, Thackeray also said there was a need to be extra cautious during the upcoming monsoon.
"We will have to study the situation carefully before moving ahead. The coming weeks are critical as the spread of coronavirus is increasing. People must exercise extreme precautions during monsoon," he said.
Hours after Home Minister Anil Deshmukh red-flagged the Centre's plans to resume domestic flights from Monday, Thackeray spoke with Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri on the issue.
"The Chief Minister has communicated that till Mumbai International Airport plans and finetunes airport operations, they (Centre) should initiate minimum possible domestic flights from Maharashtra from Monday.
"These should be purely emergent in nature, like for international transfer passengers, medical emergencies, students and cases on compassionate grounds," said an official from the CMO.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown from March 24 midnight to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection. It was later extended, and currently the fourth phase of lockdown, with some relaxations, is on and will continue till May 31.
Thackeray, whose party Shiv Sena parted ways with long-term ally BJP last year, said though the Union government has been of little help, he would not indulge in any political mudslinging.
"The Maharashtra government has not yet received its due GST amount. The Centres share of train ticket cost (for facilitating transportation of migrant labourers to their native places) is yet to be received. There is still shortage of some medicines. Earlier, we did face shortage of PPE kits and other equipment,” he said.