Kolkata airport operations will be suspended for 7 days in August due to Bengal lockdown
Kolkata airport will remain shut on days when West Bengal observes complete lockdown in the month of August.
Kolkata airport has announced fresh dates in August when it will suspend operations due to the state of West Bengal going into a complete lockdown mode to break the chain of coronavirus infection, according to an official tweet by the airport authority on Tuesday.
“As per the State Govt. order dated 03.08.2020, flight operations at #KolkataAirport will remain suspended on the revised lockdown days: 5th, 8th, 20th, 21st, 27th, 28th and 31st August 2020,” the official tweet says.
State government on Monday revised for the fourth time, the set of dates- August 5, 8, 20, 21, 27, 28 and 31-- for implementation of complete lockdown to contain coronavirus disease. Earlier the dates were August 5, 8, 16, 17, 23, 24 and 31.
The state government had on July 28 withdrawn the complete lockdown on August 2 and 9 paring down the number of lockdown days from nine to seven.
The government order said the changes had been affected after receiving requests from different communities seeking relaxations on dates coinciding with festivals.
The suspension of operations at Kolkata airport will impact several domestic flights that are already under stress due to curtailed domestic operations since resumption of flights on May 25 after two months of complete suspension due to nationwide lockdown in late March.
The aviation minister had yesterday suggested that the situation was continuously improving.
“Domestic operations continue to soar. 3rd August 2020, Day 72 till 23:59 hrs. Departures were 849. 78,155 passengers handled. Arrivals were 846. 77,558 passengers handled. Total movements were 1695. Footfalls at airports were 1,55,713. Total number of flyers was 78,155,” he tweeted.
The lockdown dates in West Bengal have run into controversy since BJP has accused the TMC government of disrespecting sentiments of Hindu community by not lifting restrictions on August 5, when the ground breaking ceremony for construction of a grand Ram Temple will take place in Ayodhya.
Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh said the decision for the lockdown on August 5 reflects the ruling party’s strategy to turn “West Bengal into Bangladesh”.
He has demanded that the August 5 be dropped from the lockdown-days list like it was done for Eid festival on August 1.
“We had no problem with the state government changing dates for the lockdown due to the Eid festival. Similarly the sentiment of the Hindus over the construction of Ram Mandir should not be ignored,” Ghosh said.