Bhubaneswar: Union Petroleum and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday sought intervention of Union External Affairs and Civil Aviation Ministry in introducing direct flights for repatriation of Odias stranded in various other countries during Covid pandemic.
Commending the work undertaken by the government in bringing back Indians hit by Covid crisis during stay in foreign countries, Pradhan has asked both the ministries to help in repatriation of a large number of Odias intending to return to their native State from GCC countries, United Kingdom, and Sri Lanka.
Pradhan has said that he had received representations from Odia persons living abroad requesting for their repatriation directly to Bhubaneswar.
"The Odia community representatives living in GCC countries, United Kingdom, and Sri Lanka have made specific requests to travel back from their respective capital cities to Bhubaneswar directly," Pradhan wrote in a letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan urges External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar & Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri to make arrangements for point to point direct flights to help Odias stranded in other countries return to #Odisha#COVID19 #COVID19India pic.twitter.com/8d3wJueeAF
— OTV (@otvnews) June 3, 2020
Since they are in good numbers in these countries, point to point direct flights may be arranged from the cities like Dubai, Doha, Dammam, Muscat, Bahrain, Colombo and London to Bhubaneswar, which would also make commercial sense for the airlines," Pradhan stated in the letter.
It may be noted that even though the Centre has already resumed domestic flights in the country almost two months after the enforcement of Covid lockdown, but regular international flights is yet to be commenced.
The government had informed a week ago that after thorough review of the Corona situation, it might restart flight services in selected international routes from the month of July.
As per government, Indian carriers have operated a total of 4,062 flights till June 1. As many as 428 flights were flown out on May 25, 445 on May 26, 460 on May 27, 494 on May 28, 513 on May 29, 529 on May 30, 501 on May 31 and 692 on June 1.