After exploitation, additional flights for Chandigarh, Amritsar

Chandigarh, Feb 21 (IANS) With prices for the one-hour Chandigarh-Delhi flight going beyond Rs. 20,000, the civil aviation ministry on Sunday asked different airlines to operate more flights to Chandigarh and other destinations in northern states as thousands of people were stranded at various places with roads and railway tracks being blocked by violent Jat protestors.

“Acceding to the demand made by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajjapathi Raju today (Sunday) agreed to start additional flights from Delhi to Chandigarh and Amritsar,” a Punjab government spokesman said here.

During a telephonic conversation with Raju, Badal urged him to immediately start flights from national capital to Amritsar and Chandigarh to provide connectivity to the people of the state who were completely cut off from other parts of the country, especially Delhi, due to widespread violence and disturbances in Haryana on the issue of Jat reservation, the spokesman said.

Badal apprised the union minister that a number of people, especially students, who have to appear in several entrance tests for either jobs or admissions in various educational institutions across the country had been adversely affected.

Most of such examination centres were located in Delhi.

He also complained to Raju that some aviation companies were exploiting the situation by overcharging passengers.

The minister told Badal that various airlines like Spice Jet, Air India, Jet Airways and Indigo were operating additional flights from Delhi to Chandigarh, Amritsar, Jaipur and Jammu. Air India, Spice, Go Air, and Vistara also have been told to mount additional flights to Chandigarh, Jammu, Amritsar and Jaipur.

The violent Jat agitation, in which 10 people have died so far, entered the eighth day on Sunday.

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