350,000 In­dian ex­pats regis­ter to re­turn home

PLANS AFOOT TO IN­CREASE NUM­BER OF FLIGHTS, DES­TI­NA­TIONS IN THIRD PHASE

Gulf News - - FRONT PAGE - BY SAJILA SASEENDRAN Se­nior Re­porter

The num­ber of In­di­ans in the UAE who have reg­is­tered for repa­tri­a­tion has crossed 350,000, which is more than 10 per cent of the 3.4 mil­lion pop­u­la­tion of the di­as­pora.

Vipul, the Con­sul Gen­eral of In­dia in Dubai, con­firmed the num­ber had sur­passed the mile­stone when speak­ing to Gulf News ahead of the third phase of repa­tri­a­tion flights, which starts on Tues­day.

6,000 flew back in 2 phases

Around 6,000 In­di­ans availed of flights home in the first two phases of the ‘Vande Bharat Mis­sion’, the sec­ond phase of which drew to a close yes­ter­day. Among these were 170 pris­on­ers de­ported from UAE jails. An­other flight saw 75 preg­nant repa­tri­ated on the same flight as­sisted by medics.

Three flights from Dubai and one from Abu Dhabi were op­er­ated on the last day of the sec­ond phase on Satur­day. “We wish all trav­ellers a Happy Eid re­union with their fam­i­lies,” the con­sulate tweeted.

Vipul said the there are plans to in­crease the num­ber of flights and des­ti­na­tions in the third phase of repa­tri­a­tion which will be­gin on Tues­day

as more states an­nounce their pre­pared­ness to re­ceive and quar­an­tine ex­pats.

The next phase is likely to have an ex­panded sched­ule to Ker­ala and flights to new des­ti­na­tions, in­clud­ing Jaipur and Ahmed­abad.

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