With the Calcutta High Court giving a nod to Gangasagar Mela, the CPIM has expressed its apprehension over the decision, fearing the event which would draw lakhs of pilgrims may put the lives of people in this state in peril as covid caseload continues to increase during the third wave.
The court nod to Gangasagar Mela has raised a storm among opposition political parties in the state and among medical experts who fear that the fair may lead to skyrocketing of covid cases , more so due to the latest variant Omicron that is highly contagious among the other variants.
The state in the past few days have been witnessing a tremendous spurt in cases, forcing the state government to shut down many of its events including the Kolkata International Film Festival. However, the chief minister Mamata Banerjee had made it clear that the Gangasagar mela will be held with restrictions since cancelling it completely will be impossible since several pilgrims have already reached the Sagar island ahead of Makar Sankranti.
The CPIM but expressed fears surrounding the clearance by the court towards holding the fair though not without strict protocols. Kallol Majumdar, CPIM leader said it is impossible to ensure strict vigilance in a place that will be thronged by lakhs of people. “The new covid variant is highly contagious and is quickly spreading from person to person. Thousands would attend the event from other states and it’s near impossible to check each and every one and ensure all covid protocols are followed.”
The Left also said that this one event may lead to a disastrous situation in the state which is allegedly suffering from weak health infrastructure. “Where is the chief minister going to admit patients who will rush to hospitals in large numbers after being affected by Covid? The state government ought to control the situation now. Several pilgrims are not even wearing masks and here we are witnessing a spurt in everyday caseload. This seems like a deliberate action by the state to put the lives of citizens in jeopardy” remarked a senior CPIM leader.