The government has decided to scale up the ongoing evacuation efforts under Operational Ganga from war-torn Ukraine. Sources said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the Indian Air Force to join the operation launched by the government to bring back Indians stranded in Ukraine, news agency PTI reported.
Sources said that the IAF is likely to deploy several C-17 aircraft from Tuesday onwards to evacuate Indians. Along with carrying out the evacuation of people, IAF aircraft will help deliver humanitarian aid more efficiently.
Till now, only private Indian carriers were evacuating Indians from Romania and Hungary, countries with land borders with Ukraine on the western side, as the Ukrainian airspace had been shut since February 24.
India began the evacuation of around 14,000 of its stranded citizens on February 26 from neighbouring countries of Ukraine after the closure of the Ukrainian airspace.
Earlier on Monday, the government decided to send four Union Ministers to supervise the evacuation. Union ministers Hardeep Singh Puri, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Gen (Rtd) V.K. Singh and Kiren Rijiju will be positioned in Ukraine’s neighbouring countries Hungary, Romania-Maldova, Poland and Slovak Republic, respectively, to coordinate and oversee the evacuation of Indians.
This was announced after a meeting chaired by PM Modi who said the ‘entire government machinery is working round-the-clock to ensure that all Indian nationals there are safe and secure’.
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