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Govt lists challenges in starting flights from Mumbai, other airports

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |

Published: May 24, 2020 3:21:51 am

The Government has further asked MIAL “to plan daily operations in detail and furnish information to the state Government on above points making specific requests. (Representational Photo)

The Maharashtra government has told Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), which manages CSMIA, that under the existing lockdown, the commute of passengers to and from the airport and non-availability of public transport in Mumbai, Pune and other municipal corporations till May 31 would poses difficult challenges in resuming domestic flight operations.

The state government has said that it is not yet clear whether MIAL has worked out requirement of staff, including ground staff — technical and non-technical, their availability, health conditions/check-up for their fitness level to resume work at airport, daily commute etc. “It is also not clear from which part of cities they will commute and whether it falls in containment zone which have total movement restrictions,” the government said in an e-mail to MIAL.

It has further asked MIAL “to plan daily operations in detail and furnish information to the state Government on above points making specific requests … While making requests, please bear in mind that local authorities and resources are very much strained due to existing Covid-19 situation. State government will provide you all possible assistance for smooth start of these operations in a phased manner,” it added.

The government, however, has stated that till MIAL plans and fine-tunes the airport operations, it should initiate minimum possible domestic flights from Maharashtra from May 25, which are purely necessary like international transfer passengers from these cities, medical emergencies, students, and cases on compassionate grounds only.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and NCP chief Sharad Pawar held a review meeting on Saturday to discuss the COVID-19 situation in Maharashtra. The state government is likely to request the Union government to start a few local train services for transportation of health workers to deal with the shortage of staff in Mumbai hospitals. The meeting was also attended by NCP minister Jayant Patil, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta and other senior officials.

Sources said the state government will also demand more Shramik Special trains for transportation of migrant workers to their states. The issue will be taken up with the Centre again, the source added.

Meanwhile, Thackeray interacted with health officials and staff from BMC. Thackeray said a fully equipped control room is being set up for proper management of the medical services and facilities. In the monsoon, there will be patients with monsoon related diseases such as dengue and leptospirosis and they may need immediately treatment. The civic body should be prepared for it, he added.

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