Friday, June 12, 2020

Vande Bharat Mission enters 3rd phase; 1,65,375 stranded Indians brought back till now

New Delhi: The third phase of the Vande Bharat Mission to bring back Indians stranded overseas due to the Coronavirus induced lockdown got underway on Thursday and will continue till July 2.

“I would like to announce that the Phase III of Vande Bharat Mission has been initiated from today onwards. It will last till July 2. Phase III will have 432 international flights from 43 countries reaching 17 states and UTs. In this phase, we also have 29 flights from private carriers — 24 IndiGo (GCC, Malaysia); 3 GoAir (GCC) and 2 Vistara (Singapore). Ramping up our operations in Africa, we have arranged flights from six countries in Africa.

“The number of flights from the US and Canada have also been increased given the huge demand. There are 53 flights from the US and 24 flights from Canada. We would also have 16 flights each from Paris and Frankfurt which are to be used as hubs in Europe. There are 170 flights from GCC countries,” said the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
A total of 1,65,375 Indians stranded abroad have returned to the country as part of the Vande Bharat Mission till Thursday, according to the MEA spokesperson.

These include 29,034 migrant workers, 12,774 students and 11,241 professionals. More than 61,000 Indians have returned through land border immigration checkpoints from Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. A total number of 3,99,081 persons have registered their request with the MEA’s missions abroad for repatriation to India on compelling grounds.

Apart from Air India flights, repatriation has also been arranged through other streams, including Indian Naval vessels, which have brought back Indian nationals from Sri Lanka, Maldives and Iran, chartered flights and through land borders.
12/06/20 IANS/Statesman
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