Passengers Upset As Maharashtra Takes Last Minute Decision To Not Receive Passenger Flights
India’s worst-coronavirus-hit state Maharashtra has said it needed more time to prepare before it starts accepting passenger flights, NDTV reported on Sunday (24 May). Domestic flight operations are going to resume in the country from Monday.
"I spoke to the Aviation minister (Hardeep Singh Puri). I understand the need for opening up air travel, but we need more time to prepare," Chief Minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray said during an address to the people of the state.
Chief Minister’s Office (CM) of Maharashtra, in a series of tweets, also informed that CM had asked the Mumbai airport authorities to come up with a plan to restart services and fine tune its operations.
“He communicated his views that till the time MIAL plans and fine tunes airport operations, they should initiate minimum possible domestic flights from Maharashtra from May 25th which are purely emergent in nature like for international transfer passengers, medical emergencies, students, and cases on compassionate grounds,” the CMO tweeted.
CM Thackeray, during his address, also said he was not sure if the lockdown could be lifted in the state after 31 May as the number of COVID-19 cases is rapidly increasing.
“A lot of movement of people is expected, anticipating more cases as well. So things can open up only gradually. We won't lift lockdown now. We can't say that lockdown will be over by May 31... Need to be extra cautious during monsoon,” he said.
Maharashtra currently has 47,190 out of 1,31,868 coronavirus cases in the country.
However, after the move, several passengers took to social media and complained that the decision should have been taken in advance as many people had already booked their tickets.
One user wrote, “@CMOMaharashtra is this some kind of joke? People have booked their tickets upon confirmation from aviation ministry and after 3 days you are bringing forward all the fuss. Seriously such a failure as a government.”
Another user said, “Sir please allow #flight service , tickets are already booked , please understand , why not you restrict before ticket booking. Please give permission to flight service.”
Some more Twitter users slammed the CM for his decision.
States like West Bengal and Tamil Nadu had earlier objected to central government’s plan to resume nationwide passenger flight services. Bengal, citing reasons arising due to cyclone Amphan, already sought centre’s permission to not receive flights until 30 May.
Earlier this week, the MoCA Puri announced that the domestic flight operations in India would restarted in a calibrated manner from 25 May. Later, the Ministry also released a set of guidelines to be followed by passengers and authorities.
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