The Ministry of Home Affairs announced yesterday that Centre has decided to bring back hundreds of thousands of stranded Indians across the globe and this will be done in various phases starting from May 7.
In the first phase, “distressed citizens” will be brought back on commercial aircraft and naval ships, according to a list prepared by the respective embassies, strictly on “payment-basis”, the government added. The returnees would also have to pay for quarantine and hospital facilities that they will be requiring on return.
According to the reliable sources, in the first phase that will be conducted from May 7- 14, the government would allow more than 60 “non-scheduled, commercial” flights to operate from about 12 countries to India to bring back 15,000 citizens. At least half of those flights will be from the Gulf region, including UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman, while the rest would bring passengers from the U.S., the U.K., Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Bangladesh.
These flights are spread over 10 major states which are identified to be recieving highest number of returns and among these states Kerala, Tamil Nadu and New Delhi are believed to be welcoming majority of the flights.
A meeting held at the Ministry of Civil Aviation looked specifically at flights, mainly operated by Air India, while it awaits a final plan from countries where Indians need to be airlifted from. The first flights planned at present are from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Riyadh and Doha, flying directly to Kozhikode and Kochi.