'Extremely ill-advised': Maharashtra as Centre's plan to resume domestic air services from May 25 hits a bump with states
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Even as the Centre plans to resume domestic flights from Monday, confusion remains about the rules and readiness in states with several of them objecting the proposal.
Several states – including Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu – have raised objections against the Centre’s proposal to resume flights from May 25 amid the surging number of coronavirus cases in the country.
On Saturday, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said that it is “extremely ill-advised to reopen airports in red zone”, adding that the state had not yet amended its May 19 lockdown order which allowed only special flights.
“Its extremely ill-advised to reopen airports in red zone. Mere thermal scanning of passengers inadequate w/o swabs. Impossible to have autos/cabs/buses ply in current circumstances. Adding positive passenger will add Covid stress to red zone,” he tweeted.
Apart from Maharashtra, West Bengal have also raised objections and cited the destructions caused by cyclone Amphm, urging the Centre to postpone resuming domestic flight services at Kolkata and Bagdogra airports by a few days.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that she has asked the chief secretary to request the Civil Aviation Ministry to defer the services at Kolkata airport to May 30 and at Bagdogra airport to May 28.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu has also urged the Centre to delay its plan to resume domestic air services till May 31.
On Saturday, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel also denounced the Centre's decision to resume domestic flights from May 25 allegedly without following any standard operating procedure and said that effective steps were lacking to check the spread of COVID-19.
"When there is a spike in corona positive cases in the country, if domestic flight services are resumed, it would further aggravate the situation," Baghel said in a letter to Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.
The Centre on Wednesday announced that domestic civil aviation operations will start from May 25 in “calibrated manner”, adding that the airport authorities and airlines are also being informed of the resumption to be ready for operations.
All scheduled commercial passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 25 after the government imposed a lockdown across the country to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Later on Saturday, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri also said that international flight operations from India might commence from July depending upon the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
"So far, the 'Vande Bharat Mission' has moved very well and I am confident that when domestic flights start, they will also proceed very well... So why not start (international flights) by June middle or June end or July," he said.
(With inputs from agencies)
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma