Union minister Prakash Javadekar made it clear on Sunday that the central government has so far not taken any decision on starting train or airline services, asserting that any discussion on the issue is futile.
Asked if the government is looking at any timeline to start passenger transport services like trains or airlines, he told PTI, “It has to start one day but which is that one day you don’t know at this moment. Discussion about it is futile because we are examining the situation every day and drawing new lessons.”
Some airlines, Javadekar said, decided on their own to start bookings from May 4, and noted that Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has already clarified that the government has not taken any decision in this regard.
A final decision on the issue will be taken by the government, he said, advising against any speculation over the matter.
The ongoing nation-wide lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic is scheduled to end on May 3.
Some airlines, including Air India, had opened bookings on select domestic routes from May 4, prompting Puri to advise them to open bookings only after the government takes a decision on starting domestic and international commercial passenger flight services.
“The Ministry of Civil Aviation clarifies that so far no decision has been taken to open domestic or international operations… Airlines are advised to open their bookings only after a decision in this regard has been taken by the government,” he had said on Saturday.
Railways had stopped booking passenger tickets since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation on April 14 in which he extended the lockdown to May 3.