Air, train travel restrictions to continue beyond May 3: Report
A day after Air India opened bookings for flights traveling May 4 onwards, a report said restrictions on air and train travel may continue beyond May 3. According to Hindustan Times, at least three people who attended a meeting chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that air and train travel may not resume after May 3, when the lockdown is scheduled to end.
Defence Minister chaired Group of Ministers meeting yesterday
Singh chaired a Group of Ministers (GoM) meeting at his residence on Saturday. The meeting was attended by Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Prakash Javadekar, Hardeep Singh Puri, Smriti Irani, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Ram Vilas Paswan, et al. After the meeting, Singh said they "discussed ways to mitigate the hardships faced by the people and the role ministries can play in providing relief to people."
Air travel may not start until May 15: Union Minister
A Union Minister told HT that there was a suggestion that air travel may not start until May 15. These suggestions will reportedly be conveyed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for consideration. An attendee said that Puri—the Union Civil Aviation Minister—raised concerns over expenses stemming from planes being parked. Another attendee said air/rail travel will perhaps be the last thing to be resumed.
'No specific dates discussed about resumption of air, rail travel'
The attendee said, "There were no specific dates discussed about when air and rail travel will start... It will certainly go beyond May 3. In fact, it will be perhaps the last thing that is allowed.'' Another minister told HT that there were suggestions about special trains to ferry stranded migrants, adding, "It could be a non-stop train from Thiruvananthapuram to Bhubaneswar, for example."
Yesterday, Air India opened bookings for domestic flights in May
The national carrier Air India on Saturday issued a notification that it had opened bookings for select domestic flights scheduled to travel May 4 onwards and for international flights traveling June 1 onwards. However, later in the day, the Civil Aviation Minister tweeted saying that airlines are advised to open bookings only after the government has come to a decision on resuming air travel.
Here's Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri's tweet
The Ministry of Civil Aviation clarifies that so far no decision has been taken to open domestic or international operations.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) April 18, 2020
Airlines are advised to open their bookings only after a decision in this regard has been taken by the Government.@MoCA_GoI @DGCAIndia @AAI_Official