Vande Bharat Mission and Operation Samudra Setu: Fourth Phase to start next month, stranded Indians returning

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Published: June 26, 2020 1:46 PM

According to the Indian Navy, while in transit in Iran, the crew of INS Jalashwa undertook sanitisation and preparation of living spaces for evacuees.

The government has in May allowed the chartered flight operationsThe government has in May allowed the chartered flight operations. (Image: Indian Navy)

With the number of stranded Indians registering to come back, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in close coordination with all the missions have planned to started Phase IV of repatriation. Announcing the next phase, the official spokesperson of MEA Anurag Srivastava said “This next phase of repatriation will be focusing on the countries where there are a large number of Indians have registered to return. Phase IV will start from July 3.”

Update

The repatriation operations which have been going on for seven weeks now have got back 364209 out of the 513047 who have registered to be repatriated. And they are being brought back in close coordination between MEA and other related ministries as well as State Agencies. All who are boarding either the special flights or Indian Navy ships are being screened and have to undergo mandatory quarantine on arrival.

Sharing details about the Mission, Srivastava, said “During the first three Phases, to cover 50 countries across 5 continents, 875 international flights were scheduled for operations. Out of these 700 of these flights have so far repatriated around 1, 50,000 Indians. And under Phase III, the remaining 175 flights will be returning with more in the coming days.”

Since the number of Indians stranded in the GCC countries as other places including Singapore and Malaysia are high, more flights are being launched to get them back. From across the globe, the Indian Mission in Cuba too has been making efforts to send back the stranded Indians in the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Haiti.

The government has in May allowed the chartered flight operations and this has helped in getting back stranded citizens as well as the seafarers and crews of shipping companies who were stranded in various places including Brazil. And, according to MEA, around 130061 persons have returned on these flights, and due to high demand in the Gulf region, more flights will be heading that way.

Operation Samudra Setu

The Indian Navy ships have been traversing across oceans to bring back stranded India and also, deliver medical aid and food grains to a friendly nation.

On Thursday (June 25) INS Jalashwa reached Port of Bandar Abbas in Iran and embarked 687 Indian citizens after the mandatory medical and baggage screening.

According to the Indian Navy, while in transit in Iran, the crew of INS Jalashwa undertook sanitisation and preparation of living spaces for evacuees. They also prepared welcome kits for the passengers which had masks and toiletries and organized the allocation of bunks as per the manifest received from the Indian Mission in Tehran.

And, two indigenously developed Air Evacuation Pods by the Indian Navy were handed over to the Indian authorities.

Indians returning from Cuba

Madhu Sethi, Ambassador of India to Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, in an interaction with the Financial Express Online said, “In the three countries under the jurisdiction of this Mission – Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, we have a total of 16 stranded Indians (15 tourists and 1 transiting passenger).”

“We keep trying to get them connecting flights to VBM hubs in the US and Europe. Till date, we have been able to send 4 people via Mexico-Paris from Cuba and one through New York from the Dominican Republic, Ms Sethi added.

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