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Vande Bharat Mission set to break evacuation record

The third phase of the Vande Bharat Mission will evacuate 38,000 Indian citizens from 31 countries in 337 commercial flights.

The third phase of the Vande Bharat Mission will evacuate 38,000 Indian citizens from 31 countries in 337 commercial flights.  

A total of 3,48,565 citizens have registered till now with the Indian diplomatic missions across the world

A total of 3,48,565 citizens have registered till now with the Indian diplomatic missions across the world for repatriation under the Vande Bharat Mission, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday. The Ministry’s spokesperson said that out of the total registered number, 1,07,123 Indians have been brought back by a mix of non-scheduled commercial flights,ships and cross-border bus service from Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan and the rest will be brought back in the coming weeks.

Also read: Private airlines will join Vande Bharat mission: Minister

With this, the registered number of evacuees under this mission has officially crossed the previous record held by the 1990 airlift of Indians from Kuwait after the invasion of the country by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. In the Gulf airlift, Air India had brought back 1,76,000 nationals. The final count of Vande Bharat mission is expected to go higher, officials have said.

Mr. Srivastava said out of the total number of repatriated citizens, 17,485 are migrant workers, 11,511 students and 8,633 professionals. “More than 32,000 Indians have returned through land border immigration checkpoints from Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh,” said Mr. Srivastava. The repatriation operation covers only those who register to return under “compelling grounds”. The third phase of the mission will be launched on June 11 and go on till the end of June.

Watch | All about Vande Bharat Mission

The third phase of the Vande Bharat Mission will evacuate 38,000 Indian citizens from 31 countries in 337 commercial flights. Out of the total, 54 flights will take off from the U.S. for India, 24 will arrive from Canada, and 11 such flights will bring back Indians from Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Seychelles, and Mauritius.

The mammoth operation is being monitored from the MEA’s COVID-19 Control Room. It has received 25,000 phone calls and 66,000 emails till 8 a.m. on Thursday, said the spokesperson. The mission was launched in the first week of last month and it was expected to break all records of repatriation operations as a large number of expat Indians wish to return home in view of economic distress caused by the COVID-19 related job loss and fear.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 12:48:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/vande-bharat-mission-set-to-break-evacuation-record/article31751772.ece

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