AMARAVATI: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Wednesday wrote a letter to Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar seeking Central government's help in bringing back non-resident Indians (NRIs) hailing from the state and currently stranded in Kuwait and other countries due to the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown.
For the convenience of migrant workers, the chief minister has appealed to the foreign minister to operate direct flights to Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. YS Jagan also hailed the efforts of the Indian government in bringing back stranded Indians from abroad undertaking a mega evacuation programme ‘Vande Bharat’.
The chief minister said that around 2,500 migrant workers from India who have lost jobs in Gulf countries, are willing to travel back to India. But they are not in a position to afford the cost of repatriation, he said. They were even granted ‘Amnesty’ and permission to exit the Gulf countries but are helpless as they cannot bear the costs of their travel back to India. The chief minister, in his letter, informed the foreign minister that in Kuwait, the Indian Embassy had given the exit clearance to the jobless Indians and even the Kuwaiti government is also willing to cover the cost of their travel.
In the letter, YS Jagan said that unable to fly out, these Indians are currently languishing in the labour camps in their respective Gulf countries. For over two weeks now, they have been leading a miserable life, facing hardships in these camps, he added. The chief minister requested the foreign minister to speak to the authorities concerned in Kuwait and arrange for hassle-free evacuation of the stranded Telugu NRIs.
He also sought to assure the Centre that the state government is fully geared up with all the necessary arrangements including medical tests and quarantine for these foreign returnees to the state. In view of these reasons, YS Jagan appealed to the external affairs minister to operate direct flights to all the major cities of Andhra Pradesh from Kuwait, the Middle East and Southeast Asia to ensure smooth repatriation of stranded migrant workers of the state.