COVID-10: India suspends passenger flights, trains till May 3

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Hopes of thousands of migrants stranded in various states and Indian citizens overseas to return to their native place have faded with the government suspending all passenger flights and trains services ill May 3.

The ministry of civil aviation announced the decision after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the extension of the lockdown in his address to the nation. The ministry of railways followed suite. Officials said that the extension was in view of the extension of the lockdown by 19 days from May 15.

Cargo operations will, however, be permitted to continue during the lockdown. The civil aviation ministry had launched Lifeline Udan flights on March 26 for movement of medical and essential supplies across the country and beyond.

At present, Delhi Airport is handling 20-22 cargo flights per day including non-scheduled operations, with freighters arriving from destinations like Doha, Paris, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Incheon.

The migrants, spread across various, states were waiting of resumption of train service to return to their home states. Migrants in several states, including Kerala, had hit the streets last month demanding special trains to return home

Several states have been mounting pressure on the Central government to operate special flights to various countries to bring the stranded Indians and Non-resident Indians who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

The Supreme Court had on Sunday deferred pleas seeking repatriation of Indians by four weeks with the observation that it was better for people to stay where they are till situation returns to normal (with inputs from agencies).

Image Credit: India TV

 

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