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Air India would operate special cargo flights to the northeastern region of India to ferry the commodities required to deal with the novel coronavirus treatment and other public emergency, top AAI official said on Friday.
The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) has also been operating freight trains in most of the northeastern states, including Assam, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram to maintain the availability of the essential commodities in the hilly northeastern region.
Airport Authority of India (AAI) Regional Executive Director (NER) Sanjeev Jindal said that the Ministry of Civil Aviation took the decision considering the situation of urgent need to transport medicine, medical emergency equipment, protective gears, accessories in small quantities, even water and essential commodities.
He said that to address the seamless movement of air cargo, a high level committee has been constituted with secretaries of various central government ministries.
"The committee is empowered to hire dedicated charter flights for the air cargo purpose," Jindal said.
An NFR official said that though they are operating their goods trains in the northeastern states but there are some problems of loading and unloading of various commodities and cargos as the availability of workers become a problem in view of the lockdown and maintaining of social distance to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The NFR is responsible for extending the railway lines and maintaining train services in seven districts of West Bengal and five districts in north Bihar, besides the mountainous northeastern states.