Representational image of a boat in Kerala | Photo: ANI
Representational image of a boat in Kerala | Photo: ANI
Text Size:

Bengaluru: With roads between Kerala’s Kasargod district and Karnataka blocked at the insistence of the B.S. Yediyurappa government, people from Kerala have been using the water route to reach Mangaluru under the Covid-19 lockdown, it has emerged.

Residents of Kasargod who did not wish to be identified told ThePrint that people have been trying to reach Karnataka through boats, via the Arabian Sea as well as the Talapady river, for their medical and other needs.

People of Kasargod have to rely on health infrastructure in Mangaluru, Udupi and Manipal regions of Karnataka under normal circumstances, but under the Covid-19 lockdown, these avenues are not available to them.

Karnataka CM Yediyurappa has made it clear that his state will not open its borders, fearing a further spread of the novel coronavirus as Kasargod has one of the highest number of positive cases in Kerala, and has even compared opening the borders to “embracing death”.


Also read: Woman’s death on sealed border triggers Kerala-Karnataka battle, Pinarayi writes to PM Modi


Police action

Complaints about such attempts have been lodged with the Mangaluru district administration, and the state minister in-charge of the district, Kota Srinivas Poojary, has sought the intervention of the police.

A senior police officer who did not wish to be identified said: “We had received information from the local villagers living along the Talapady river that there were people who were entering our state through small boats using the river. So, immediately, it was brought to the attention of our police and coastal security personnel. They have increased their patrolling.”

The officer added that there were a few Karnataka fishermen who had been found fishing along the state border, but they returned in a few days. “In the same way, there may have been some fishermen who would have used the river to come towards Karnataka (from Kerala),” the officer said.

R. Chethan, the superintendent of police (coastal security) for Udupi district, said the police have enhanced patrolling along the coastline to ensure that such incidents of people trying to cross over do not take place.

“We have two boats patrolling and keeping a watch 24×7. The coastal points are completely sealed and we have officials manning every point of entry,” Chethan said.


Also read: ‘All we saw was death, but doctors helped’: How Kerala couple, 93 and 88, was cured of Covid-19


Road borders won’t open anytime soon

Mangaluru district officials told ThePrint that borders with Kerala continues to be sealed, and vehicular movement, including for medical emergencies, has been completely suspended.

Talapady, also the name of a check-post on the Kerala-Karnataka border, is only open for transporting essential commodities, while all 17 roads connecting the state have been shut by the police by dumping soil and gravel.

Kerala has cried foul over these decisions, alleging that this “inhuman act” by Karnataka has led to five persons dying in Kasargod due to unavailability of immediate medical help.

But Karnataka points out that six of the nine Covid-19-positive cases in Mangaluru came from Kerala, and thus it is necessary to keep the border sealed to “break the chain”.

Kasargod district has 119 coronavirus-positive cases, and 10,731 persons are placed under quarantine.


Also read: Power struggle between two top ministers adds to Karnataka’s coronavirus troubles


 

ThePrint is now on Telegram. For the best reports & opinion on politics, governance and more, subscribe to ThePrint on Telegram.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

13 Comments Share Your Views

13 COMMENTS

  1. Because if kasrgod developed then most of the people of Karnataka will benefit… that’s May be one of the strong reason in my personal opinion.so the poor community at large are humble with the Karnataka Government. So joint venture between the two states will benefit all

  2. Because if kasrgod developed then most of the people of Karnataka will benefit… that’s May be one of the strong reason in my personal opinion.so the poor community at large are humble with the Karnataka Government

  3. Because if kasrgod developed then most of the people of Karnataka will benefit… that’s May be one of the strong reason in my personal opinion.so the poor community at large are humble with the Karnataka Government

  4. BJP high command meekly surrendered to VIDESHI American big brother and supply medicines. But they claims purely humanitarian ground. So called swadeshi party not supporting adjacent state locals for medical assistance unwarranted /highly objectionable.

  5. Thanks,Karnataka.
    At least now,Kerala govt.have woke up to start efforts to open long awaited Medical College Hospital @Ukkinadka.Another hospital with 400+beds got granted to Kasaragod near Thekkil bridge which will start functioning within 3 months as per DC’s announcement

  6. Most of private Hospitals in Mangalore are developed or run by people from Kasaragod.

    Sad to know Karnataka govt authority is not allowing People from Kerala to avail emergency treatment at Mangalore at this critical period.

    • guess ,best part would be that kasargod people if they have opened hospital can shift to there own place and run hospital !!!! Why take trouble to shift to Mangalore ie kudla to run hospitals. Best would be that starting from manjeshwara ,Uppala kumble kasrod ie kasargod town till chandagiri river can be included in Karnataka as per mahajan commission report .

      • No it can’t be included. Most of the people here speak either Beary or tulu as their mother tongue. So there is no chance of merger of kasargod from manjeshwar to kasargod town with karnataka

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here