Thiruvananthapuram, March 28 (IANS) After two days of hectic parleys at the highest level, on Saturday, Karnataka finally relented and opened three border routes which are entry to Kerala for vehicles carrying essential commodities.
Since Thursday night Karnataka had closed the routes, fearing the spread of Covid-19 to their state, as Kerala had the highest number of positive cases in the country and over a lakh under observation.
Following this, hundreds of trucks laden with vegetables and essential food items were stuck at the border of the two states since Friday.
On Friday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan expressed strong displeasure at the way Karnataka behaved when they blocked the borders using sand and stones.
“There might arise situation for either of the state to go this side or that side. Now we have been told that they will remove it, according to our Chief Secretary,” said Vijayan, adding that this will be brought to the attention of the Prime Minister.
And though he confirmed, later, things have been cleared and the vehicles would be allowed to enter, on Saturday morning Vijayan wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the whole episode.
Soon, Union Minister Sadananda Gowda who has roots in Kasargode district in Kerala got into the act and after a few rounds of talks with the two Chief Ministers and chief secretaries, it was decided to allow vehicles to enter into Kerala from three state borders – one at the Mangalore side and two others at the entry of Wayanad district.
But the Virajpet border in Karnataka near the Kerala town of Iritty in Kannur district continues to remain closed, as there has been a strong local upsurge against opening of the border.
Now, that the borders have been opened, trucks laden with vegetables and essential commodities will now reach the Kerala markets, especially in the northern districts of the state.