Vande Bharat flight brings 112 Indians back from Bangladesh

Soumyadeep Sarkar

Vande Bharat

The second phase of the Vande Bharat mission is underway, as a flight left Dhaka, Bangladesh, at 12:30 local time today, headed for Kolkata. The plane carries about 112 people who were working at the Rampal power project in Bangladesh.

The second phase of the mission, which was slated to end on May 22, has been extended by the government till June 13.

Earlier, a total of 169 Indians were evacuated from Bangladesh to India; the plane had landed in Kolkata amidst a show of waterworks of families.

The Vande Bharat mission was created with the aim to bring back Indians stranded in other countries. The first phase successfully brought nearly 15,000 stranded Indians, a phase in which Kolkata did not feature. Now, in the second phase, India plans to bring back one lakh stranded nationals from 60 countries, and the government is increasing the entry points and expanding feeder flights to various destinations in India, tweeted S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister.

Today’s flight is one of the many to have brought back Indians who were unable to return to their home country due to the sudden lockdown. This lockdown had been enforced to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Rampal power station is a proposed 1320 megawatt coal-fired power station at Rampal Upazila in Khulna, Bangladesh. It has raised a lot of controversies since it is situated 14 kilometers north of the Sunderbans, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is a joint venture between India and Bangladesh, a factor for the employment of multiple Indians there. Stranded by the lockdown, they were stuck until the Indian government reached out to them.

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