NEW DELHI: India, in coordination with the neighbouring states of war-torn Ukraine, has arranged 46 flights to ensure safe and quick evacuation of stranded Indians from Western Ukraine & neighbouring states. All the flights are scheduled till March 8. From the centre it is known 29 flights are scheduled from Bucharest, 10 flights from Budapest, and 6 flights from Poland. One more flight from Slovakia has been scheduled to rescue the stranded Indian nationals . If required, more flights will be added to ensure safe repatriation of stranded Indian nationals from the war-torn country, a source familiar with the development told The New Indian.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a high-level meeting yesterday to review Operation Ganga. Upon Prime Minister Modi’s direction, the Indian Air Force has joined in Operation Ganga. One C-17 Globemaster aircraft took off from the Hindon airbase near Delhi at around 4am. The Poland bound flight is carrying humanitarian and medical aid including blankets, surgical gloves, solar lamps, sleeping mats and tents. From Poland the second tranche of aid will be sent to Ukraine.
This highly capable American origin C-17 Globemaster has a history of serving India in evacuation operations. The same aircraft was deployed in Operation Devi Shakti to evacuate the Indian nationals from Afghanistan after the Taliban took over in August last year.
Speaking to The New Indian, an official from MEA said that India has sent aid worth 2 ton yesterday upon besieged Ukraine’s request. However, more squadrons of C-17 are expected to be inducted in the evacuation operation.
While attending a press briefing, Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Tuesday said, “urgent safe passage for all the stranded Indians in Kharkiv and other conflict zones is the top priority.”
A delegation of 25 officers has been deputed to the neighboring states of Ukraine. Russian speaking Indian officials are speaking to the local governments of the neighbouring states of Ukraine, a source from the Ministry of External Affairs told The New Indian. The Indian officials are in talks with the interlocutors in both Russia and Ukraine to ensure safe passage of the stranded Indians.