Mumbai, May 23: As domestic flight operations are set to start on Monday, May 25, the Maharashtra government is yet to give a green signal to air travel in the state. In its notification, which came into effect from Friday, the state government had prohibited train and airline services till the fourth phase of COVID-19 lockdown ends on May 31. Indian Railways Cancels Booking of Trains Originating and Terminating in Maharashtra After State Government Prohibits Inter-District Travel.
According to reports, the Uddhav Thackeray-led government is yet to decide Standard Operating Protocols (SOP) over air travel. "We will also have to take a call on keeping the passengers under quarantine on their arrival,” said an official was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times. India Sees Huge Spike of 5,609 Coronavirus Cases in Past 24 Hours, COVID-19 Tally Increases to 1,12,359, Death Toll Surges to 3435.
Reportedly, the decision over the resumption of flight services will be taken by today evening or tonight. A report in India Today said that Centre "arbitrarily" took the decision to allow flight operations without consultation with the state.
Maharashtra Government Yet to Decide on Domestic Flight Operations:
#NewsAlert - Maharashtra govt mulling on whether flights should be allowed to operate, particularly from Mumbai, & whether any state-specific SOPs need to be laid down. Decision to be taken by today evening or tonight: Govt Sources. | @vinivdvc with details. #IndiaFightsCOVID19 pic.twitter.com/kD1nUTIzEP
— CNNNews18 (@CNNnews18) May 23, 2020
Breaking; Maharashtra says lockdown rules in place till 31st.. does not give a green signal to domestic flight travel as of now. Clearly, no centre state coordination once again on a major lockdown issue! Result: Shambolic confusion!
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) May 23, 2020
On Thursday, the Maharashtra government had prohibited inter-district travel amid rising novel coronavirus. After the state banned inter-district travel, the Indian railways announced to cancel all trains which are originating and terminating in Maharashtra.