The Mamata Banerjee-led administration in West Bengal has no issues if local trains and metro rail services are resumed in the state and has even allowed resumption of flight services from six cities to Kolkata that had been suspended since July 6.
The chief minister also announced that there would be complete state-wide lockdown on September 7, 11 and 12. The state government, which was earlier planning to reopen schools on September 5 if the Covid-19 situation improved, said that schools and colleges would remain closed till September 20.
“Flight services from six cities were suspended. From September 1, flight services to Kolkata from the six cities may resume and can operate on three days. We cannot allow complete resumption of flight services as of now,” Banerjee said after a cabinet meeting.
Flights to Kolkata from Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Chennai and Ahmedabad were stopped from July 6 as the state government stepped up efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The dates were extended multiple times.
“We have no problem if Metro wants to resume services in and around Kolkata after maintaining physical distance (between passengers). Local train services may also start in a phased manner – one fourth at a time. We have no problem. Railway authorities can speak with us,” Banerjee said.
After months of deliberations, the Centre is finally likely to allow resumption of Metro services from September 1, when the fourth phase of unlocking economic activities will begin, people familiar with the development said.
The government is considering opening local rail transportation from the first week of September. Officials of the Union government had earlier told HT that modifications were being worked out on how to resume Metro services.
“Total lockdown would be enforced on September 7, 11 and 12. If the situation calls for more lockdown-days the dates would be announced later in September,” said a senior official of the state government.