NEW DELHI: The restrictions of travel on railways and airways will still remain, despite the 40-day extended lockdown, in order to contain the spread of COVID-19, ending on 3 March 2020. Anonymous sources from a recently held meeting by the Group of Ministers (GoM) revealed.
A union minister mentioned that there was a suggestion within the aforementioned meeting to begin the transport services of airways and railways from 15 May. The meeting was organised by Rajnath Singh, while other ministers like Smriti Irani (Textile Minister), Hardeep Puri (Aviation Minister) and so on attended. Other suggestions from this meeting will, later on, be conveyed to Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India.
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As Puri refused to comment on the matter, one of the sources said, "There was a discussion on restarting air operations. The aviation minister also said that the planes being parked were also leading to an expense."
Air India has opened it's international bookings from 1 June 2020, while selected domestic route booking is also available and can begin from 4 May 2020.
The source further revealed, "There were no specific dates discussed when air and rail travel will start. It is perhaps fair to say that it will take time. It will certainly go beyond May 3. In fact, it will be perhaps the last thing that is allowed.’’
Another one of the sources revealed that there was also a discussion regarding special trains which would help stranded ferry migrants, "It could be a non-stop train from Thiruvananthapuram to Bhubaneswar for example.
Singh also updated his Twitter followers regarding the meeting, he tweeted, "We discussed ways to mitigate the hardships faced by the people and the role ministries can play in providing relief to people."
Interacted with the GoM on the COVID-19 situation. We discussed ways to mitigate the hardships faced by the people and the role ministries can play in providing relief to people.— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) April 18, 2020
The guidelines to allow limited activities and the measures announced by RBI were also appreciated. pic.twitter.com/xUGfaSmV8L
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Another one of the Union Ministers, Ram Vilas Paswan, who was also an attendee, revealed, "We were all glad that the Prime Minister had the foresight to announce the lockdown before anyone else." He also revealed that the country lacks no shortage of essential supplied and food anymore.