Nod for road, train travel just after May 3 unlikely
NEW DELHI: As the government prepares for lockdown relaxations, the group of ministers under defence minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday suggested resumption of domestic flights in certain ‘safe areas’ after the nationwide shutdown in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic ends on May 3. It said the final call will be taken by the ministries of home and civil aviation after reviewing the status of the virus spread in cities and feedback from states.
“There was consensus among the ministers that domestic flights should be resumed in the sectors where Covid-19 cases have not been reported and where there is no threat of spread of the virus,” a government functionary said.
However, the ministers were not in favour of any immediate relaxation on inter-state movement by other modes of transport like trains or public and private vehicles even after May 3, sources said.
“Any extension of the lockdown period, whether to be done or not, will be decided after taking stock of the situation across the country. However, ministers were of the view that resuming inter-state travel will be highly risky,” an official said adding that there was consensus that trains should not be be run immediately after the lockdown is over.
Meanwhile, home minister Amit Shah reviewed the working of MHA’s control room and took stock of the situation in states. Those present at the meeting included the two ministers of state G Kishan Reddy, who had also attended the GoM meeting chaired by Rajnath Singh, and Nityanand Rai besides the home secretary and other ministry officials.
The MHA control room is operational 24/7 and is coordinating with states and various ministries to sort out issues relating to implementation of the lockdown.
The GoM, chaired by Singh, discussed ways to restart economic activity in non-hotspot areas after April 20, in line with PM Narendra Modi’s announcement.
It examined suggestions to re-enlist retired doctors and health professionals to boost medical capabilities on a war footing besides drafting in final year medical students in Covid-19 hotspots.
Start Your Daily Mornings with Times of India Newspaper! Order Now