CM Uddhav Thackeray: Willing to take any blame for not lifting the lockdown

Updated: May 19, 2020, 06:54 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

Thackeray also invites industries to set up shop in Maharashtra with no red tape provided they do not damage the environment

Uddhav Thackeray
Uddhav Thackeray

In a bid to revive the state's economy, Chief Minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray, during his address to the state on Monday evening, unveiled a green vision and invited industries that promise to not pollute the environment to set up businesses here without taking permissions. He also requested migrants waiting their turn to leave to be patient, saying he had already helped send five lakh of them back home.

Thackeray emphasised that the lockdown had helped control the pandemic and lifting it completely in red zones at this point was not advisable in view of increasing cases.

"The projections for the number of cases have been scary, but I must say that without the lockdown, we couldn't have managed the pandemic the way we have done it so far in association with the people of the state," he said. Thackeray said he was ready to take any blame for not lifting the lockdown completely. "Think about what will happen if we lift the lockdown. Please consider the situation in other countries. I will do whatever is best for you," he said in his address to the state.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray took oath as an MLC on Monday. Pic/PTI
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray took oath as an MLC on Monday. Pic/PTI

'Help short-staffed industries'
The CM said some 50,000 industrial units were operating in the state. "We have given permission to 70,000 industries but since workers are not there, all of them couldn't start. I appeal to the local people to use this opportunity to offer human resources to the industries that are short-staffed. The people have contributed to checking the pandemic, but now it's time you also contributed to rebuilding Maharashtra by working for the industrial units in need of human resources," he said.

Thackeray said it was time for local people to become 'atmanirbhar' as the prime minister had said, adding that he would like to see the situation being brought under control before the monsoon.

Rolling out a red carpet for investors, Thackeray announced that non-polluting green industries may begin work without any permission. "The only condition is that they should not pollute the atmosphere. If investors don't have the money to buy land we will give them land on rent," he said, declaring that the state has reserved 40,000 acres of land for industrial development by new foreign and national investment.

He appealed to people to go out for work where it is relatively safer. "But remember that personal hygiene and social distancing would be important in venturing out for work where it is permitted and even after the Coronavirus pandemic is over," he said.

To migrants workers, the CM said, "We have made all arrangements to carry you home. In fact, we have sent over five lakh workers to other states. Those still stranded will also get a chance to board a train or bus to go home. But for that, you have to be a little patient and wait for your turn. Please don't walk on the roads where accidents are happening. We haven't taken money from the poor labourers for travel expenses," he said.

Thackeray also touched upon a concern of the people who want to travel inside Maharashtra. "You all are us. But please give me some time. Not all districts where you want to go would have adequate medical and other facilities to accommodate you," he said. Giving a ray of hope, the CM said the world had actually started moving even during the pandemic.

Land in acres CM said has been reserved for industrial development

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