Udayavni Special

Kerala CM writes to PM on arranging flights to bring back stranded Keralities in Gulf


Team Udayavani, Apr 14, 2020, 7:34 AM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on Monday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to arrange special flights to the Gulf to bring back Non-Resident Keralites (NRKs)stranded there due to the lockdown.

In a letter to Modi, Chief Minister Pinaryi Vijayan said many Keralites who had gone on visit visas and in search of employment were finding it difficult to continue there without jobs.

While admitting that there were constraints in allowing international travel as the threat of Covid-19 had not yet receded, Vijayan requested that “special consideration” be shown to the needs of the gulf keralites at the earliest.

The Union government should consider arranging special flights to bring these people back, Vijayan said, adding that all International health protocols can be followed while extending this facility.

The Chief Minister said the state government would take care of the testing and quarantine needs of the Keralites after they return.

At the video conferencing Prime Minister had with chief ministers of April 11, this matter had been brought to Modi’s notice, he said.

Expressing concern about the stranded NRKs, he told reporters that the government wants to bring them back as soon as possible

Vijayan said he was not aware of the total number of stranded Keralites, but said that some of them had gone there on visit visasa and others in search of jobs. there were also pregnant women, he said.

“Many of them do not have jobs and are finding it difficult to survive there,” he said.

The Chief Minister said the state government would provide all facilities and medical assistance to the NRKs and that the Centre had been requested to provide a rehabilitation package for them.

He said the United Arab Emirates and its people have always been very considerate towards Keralites.

“Our Kerala society is spread across the Arab region. As far as we know, they are not differentiating between their people and others”, he said.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Monday observed that Indian citizens stranded in various countries amid the COVID- 19 pandemic should “stay where they are” after the Centre said it would not be feasible to selectively evacuate them from abroad when a large section want to return due to various reasons.

The direction was issued on a batch of seven petitions.

Thrissur MP T N Pratapan said he had moved the National Human Rights Commission to intervene in the matter and send a medical team to the Gulf as early as possible.

“There are many COVID-19 patients in labour camps”, he told television channels.

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