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Vande Bharat Mission Phase-2: 149 flights to fetch stranded Indians from 31 countries

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on May 12, 2020 Published on May 12, 2020

Total number of passengers not yet estimated, but will be much more than phase one, say officials

A total of 149 flights will bring back stranded Indians from 31 countries over seven days in the second phase of `Vande Bharat Mission’ to be launched on May 16, according to a source.

“The number of stranded Indians to be brought back in the second phase has not been estimated yet by the government, but it would be much more than the passengers travelling in the first phase as the flights this time are more than double,” an official told BusinessLine.

The first phase of the `Vande Bharat Mission’, which began on May 7, is expected to result in the repatriation of around 15,000 Indians from 12 countries, till May 15. The countries from which Indians are being brought back in the first phase include the US, the UK, UAE, Oman, Singapore, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Philippines and Malaysia

The countries from where stranded Indians will be given an opportunity to return in the second phase include several new destinations such as Russia, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Tajikstan, Ukraine, France, Australia, Canada and Germany. The new countries on the list are in addition to the ones included in the first phase.

During the second phase, Kerala will have as many as 31 flights, including feeder flights, coming in from the Gulf countries, Russia, Australia UK, the US, Italy, France, the US and Philippines.

A total of 22 flights will land in Delhi including two each from Canada, Indonesia and the US, and one each from the others such as Nepal, Thailand, Nigeria, Japan, Russia, Ireland, Armenia, the UK and Malaysia.

There will be a total of 17 flights into Karnataka, 16 flights into Telangana, 14 flights into Gujarat, 12 flights into Rajasthan, 9 flights into Andhra Pradesh, 7 flights into Punjab, 6 flights each into Bihar and Uttar Pradesh three flights into Odisha, two flights into Chandigarh and one each into J&K, Jaipur, Mumbai and Madhya Pradesh.

“The general idea is to land people as close to their homes as possible so that quarantine and travel is not difficult. The government is making use of feeder flights to help it plan better,” the official said.

Till May 10, the Centre received 1,46,200 requests from 37 Indian states and UTs for repatriation of Indians. Requests from Kerala were the highest at 60,369, followed by 14,679 from Tamil Nadu, 10,747 from Maharashtra, 6,701 from Karnataka, and 3,755 from Delhi.

Passengers to be brought back are being selected depending on the urgency of their situation with preference being given to migrant workers without jobs, pregnant women, travellers with expired visas and people needing medical help.

Published on May 12, 2020

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