All Metros, inter-state public transport across India to be suspended till 31 March
The Centre has also advised state governments to issue orders to allow only essential services to operate in the 75 districts which have reported confirmed cases or casualties relating to COVID 19.Updated: Mar 23, 2020 05:59 IST
In a move aimed at a complete lockdown, the union government Sunday ordered the suspension of all metro rail services and inter-state transport till March 31 as positive COVID 19 cases rose up to 340 in India.
The Centre has also advised state governments to issue orders to allow only essential services to operate in the 75 districts which have reported confirmed cases or casualties relating to COVID 19.
The decisions were taken at high level meeting chaired Sunday with the Chief Secretaries of all the states by the Cabinet Secretary and the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister.
“In view of the need to contain the spread of COVID 19, it was agreed that there is urgent need to extend the restrictions on the movement of non-essential passenger transport including inter-state transport buses till March,” a statement issued by the Cabinet Secretary said.
The State governments were told that they may expand the list of 75 districts depending on their assessment of the situation. “ It was noted that several State Governments have already issued orders in this regard,” the statement said.
Union government on Sunday also decided to suspend all passenger train operations till March 31. Only the operation of freight trains carrying essential goods will be allowed, the ministry of railways said.
“In view of current global pandemic of the Corona Virus, for containing its further spread through inter-personal proximity, it has been decided to close down metro rail services on all operational networks across the country till 31st March, 2020. This is being done in continuation of the closing down of metro services today 22nd March on the day of Janta Curfew. This will help in breaking the chain of further infection of COVID-19,” urban ministry secretary Durga Shanker Mishra said.
To be sure, it hasn’t been clarified yet whether the ban on inter-state passenger transport would also include flights. At present airlines are cutting down on flight operations due to low passenger load. GoAir on Saturday announced the suspension of all flights on Sunday in the wake of ‘Janta Curfew.’ Indigo had also announced the airline will be operating approximately 60% of its normal domestic schedule.
Till Sunday five states including Punjab, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Bihar announced partial lockdown till month-end.