Telangana govt to decide on schools in couple of days: CM

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(EDS: Recasts intro, adds inputs) Hyderabad, Mar 17 (PTI): The Telangana government is making efforts to check COVID-19 and would decide in another two or three days on schools as a large number of virus cases have been reported in a few educational institutions in tne state.

Making a statement in the Assembly on Wednesday, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said the COVID-19 cases started showing a rise again though it was thought to be coming to an end.

The virus was spreading in neighbouring Maharashtra, he said, adding that though a second wave has not occurred in the country, but the spread is gaining momentum now.

All efforts were being made by the state health department to check the spread of the virus and the state Chief Secretary was also alerted, he said.

'We are concerned as it is (large number of cases) being reported in schools here and there. It is a matter of concern for us when it occurs in (welfare) hostels as they all are children and staying together,' he said.

After a gap of 10 months since the COVID-19 lockdown, classes resumed in schools and colleges in Telangana for students of ninth standard and above from February 1.

'Whether to continue accommodating them or what to do, in another two-three days, I will also give a statement in the Assembly if possible. We cannot let our children suffer. So, we have to follow some policy,' he said.

On the new farm laws, Rao said no Assembly has the power to make laws overriding Parliament.

He was reacting to Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarkas comments favouring passing a resolution against the new farm laws brought by the Centre and that states like Punjab have passed such resolutions.

'...What was done in Punjab and Rajasthan was all eyewash. It was done politically and it is not going to stand,' the Chief Minister said.

It is also true that the matter is sub-judice and the Supreme Court has given a stay on the farm laws, he said.

'What is going to happen, what will be the decision of the Centre, what the court is going to decide, we have to see. We will speak then if necessary we will do what needs to be done. We will try to protect our farmers as much as we can,' he said.

'People will punish us if the laws are so bad,' he said.

Rao made it clear that market committees would be continued in the state even if the Centre does away with them as it is within the powers of the state government to do so.

He further said his government would not like to clash with the Centre on every issue though it would fight wherever necessary to protect the state's interests. The 'Constitutional relations' between the state and Centre should be maintained, he added. PTI SJR NVG NVG