New Delhi: Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said that the ministry and Air India have jointly designed a scheme to repatriate NRIs from 31 countries in 145 flights in the second phase of Vande Bharat Mission.
"I suggested that at least one flight from every Gulf country should reach every airport in Kerala a day. Then at least six flights will come to all airports in Kerala per day and this will help reduce heavy rush of passengers gradually. 36 services are chartered to Kerala in the second phase. But the Centre is of the opinion that flight services to Kerala should be increased," Muraleedharan made it clear.
There is no lack of flight availability. Now upto 45 flights are allowed to conduct service based on the quarantine facilities and other preparations to receive NRIs arranged here. If the state government allows to bring back more number of people, the Centre is ready for that, he said.
"The heavy rush is experienced in flights as only limited number of services are available. If there are more flights, people will have a choice to board the flight next day in case of huge rush and this will help people who have urgent purposes to return first," the minister said.
The minister further said the complaint of undeserving people returning in large numbers will be probed if evidences are provided. The flights are arranged as per the recommendations made by the state government and after discussions by the officials. No flight company has approached the civil aviation promising to repatriate NRIs at low cost than Air India or free of cost, the minister added.