111th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra25442714032510289 Tamil Nadu138470895321966 Delhi112494899683371 Gujarat41906291982046 Karnataka3884315411686 Uttar Pradesh3647623334934 Telangana3467122482356 West Bengal3001318581932 Andhra Pradesh2916815412328 Rajasthan2439218103510 Haryana2124015983301 Madhya Pradesh1763212876653 Assam168071089541 Bihar1630511953125 Odisha13737875091 Jammu and Kashmir105135979179 Kerala7874409532 Punjab78215392199 Chhatisgarh4081315319 Jharkhand3760230831 Uttarakhand3537278647 Goa2453120714 Tripura206714212 Manipur16098960 Puducherry141873918 Himachal Pradesh121391610 Nagaland8453270 Chandigarh5594178 Arunachal Pradesh3601382 Meghalaya295452 Mizoram2311500 Sikkim164810
Opinion DC Comment 25 May 2020 DC Edit: Uncertainty ...

DC Edit: Uncertainty as flights resume

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published May 25, 2020, 5:51 pm IST
Updated May 25, 2020, 5:51 pm IST
Ideally, the civil aviation ministry should have consulted the states before taking its decision, but it went ahead on its own
A passenger undergoes screening after arriving at Kempegowda International airport for domestic travel, during the ongoing COVID-19 nationwide lockdown, in Bengaluru. PTI Photo
 A passenger undergoes screening after arriving at Kempegowda International airport for domestic travel, during the ongoing COVID-19 nationwide lockdown, in Bengaluru. PTI Photo

Monday’s resumption of domestic flights should have been a major step towards the eventual return to normality as India learns to live with the coronavirus, but the Centre’s unilateral move to resume flights, without consulting the states, that are battling the pandemic on the ground, has run into problems.

Maharashtra and several other states have declared they can’t take the risk of allowing thousands more into their cities as they are fighting with their backs to the wall. Maharashtra -- that has over 40 per cent of India’s active Covid-19 cases and deaths -- is not alone. West Bengal and Tamil Nadu are also unwilling to allow flights – the former more so as the administration has its hands full tackling the aftermath of last week’s devastating Amphan super-cyclone.

 

Ideally, the civil aviation ministry should have consulted the states before taking its decision, but it went ahead on its own. This is hardly acting in the spirit of cooperative federalism, which the Centre claims it swears by.

There are several practical issues too. Little thought was given to how those travelling from one part of India would be treated on arrival in another. Some would let them go home after minimal checks, others would insist on quarantining them, whether in an institutional facility or at home. Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Punjab and J&K have all said quarantine will be mandatory. Kerala has also made it mandatory for all those travelling to the state to register on an official portal, so they can be tracked effectively. MoS civil aviation Hardeep Singh Puri claims the Aarogya Setu app is a “passport” to travel, and no quarantining should be needed; but most states are not so sanguine.

 

Also, how would passengers travel after, say, arriving at Mumbai airport? The state is under strict curbs, with no buses/taxis or public transport. New Delhi doesn’t seem to have even thought about all this.

Those who planned to fly on Monday or later face unsettling times. If Mumbai finally doesn’t allow flights, airline schedules will be disrupted all over as it is a major aviation hub. As the nation battles Covid-19, this was an unnecessary controversy.

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