As India is inching towards normalcy following the relaxations of certain restrictions imposed during the lockdown, preparations are being made to facilitate the movement of people across the country once the coronavirus lockdown ends.
With lockdown is expected to end in next few days, the national carrier Air India (AI) has asked its pilots and cabin crew details to be ready to resume operations once lockdown is over by mid-May this year, reports ANI.
According to an internal mail, accessed by ANI, which was sent to the operation staff, Air India has sought crew availability and details for transport security pass for domestic and international operations.
“Dear All concerned, There is a probability to commence 25 per cent to 30 per cent operations post-lockdown in mid-May 2020. You are requested to ensure and provide the following: Total No. of Cockpit / Cabin Crew residing outside municipal limits of the bases,” the communication read.
Further Air India has also asked the Executive Director (ED) to ensure necessary arrangements and curfew passes for the crew.
“Ensure crew transport for all crew at all stations, domestic as well as International. The data at bullet 1 may be provided on priority, to enable this office to intimate ED (Security) to arrange for their curfew pass,” the AI letter said.
Limited operation of airports in Tier-1 cities: AAI
Meanwhile, the Airport Authority of India has also released a set of guidelines for the resumption of service post-lockdown. The guidelines stated that once restrictions on passenger flights are lifted, airports will facilitate limited domestic and international scheduled flights in phases at 30% capacity to facilitate social distancing.
Further, it added that the flight operations are likely to be scaled up in a gradual manner in the upcoming months. Similarly, airlines are likely to operate between tier-I cities initially.
“Initially it is presumed that airline operations will be limited to Tier-I cities i.e. Metros and some of the state capitals and major Tier-II cities. The flights’ schedule may be cleared on City Pair basis, so the origin and Destination Airports are open fully from lockdown situation,” the standard operating procedure for recommencement of operations at AAI Airports post lockdown read.
The SOP also stated that at initially only one terminal shall be used in airports with more than one terminal. The larger terminal will be reduced to ensure proper sanitation considering the limited availability of material resources. Strict social distancing norms will be introduced inside the planes to ensure space between two passengers.
India has suspended international flights since March 22 while domestic flights were prohibited from March 25. The current lockdown period is scheduled till May 3 for now.
MHA to allow movement of migrants, students, etc
Earlier, the Union Home Ministry had allowed the states to facilitate the movement of people stranded in various states, including migrant labourers. This move will allow students, migrant workers, tourists etc to go to their homes from their current locations.
The order issued by the Home Ministry had guidelines for movement of migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students who are stranded at different places due to the lockdown. The centre had asked the states and union territories to designate nodal authorities and develop standard protocols for sending and receiving such persons. The movement of people will happen only by road.
Persons willing to move will be screened and only those having no symptoms will be allowed to move. Both the sending and receiving states will have to coordinate on the movement, and the states that fall in the route will allow the transit of such buses, the MHA had added in its communique.
This move will bring huge relief for lakhs of people who are stranded in different states due to the lockdown. As migrant workers have no work, and students have no classes to attend, all of them want to go home to be with families.
Relaxations to certain districts
The government may give relaxations to many districts after May 4 and will issue new guidelines to fight the coronavirus. The Home Ministry has informed regarding the steps that are being considered after the scheduled lifting of the lockdown.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) stated that the fresh guidelines will give considerable relaxations to many districts. The details regarding the relaxations will be “communicated in the days to come”. The MHA held a comprehensive review meeting on the lockdown situation concluding that there have been tremendous gains and improvement in the situation due to lockdown till now.