Students Couldn’t Return Timely From Ukraine As Airfare Increased: Baghel

As the evacuation of Indian nationals from Ukraine is going on under ‘Operation Ganga’, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday alleged that Air India has increased the fare of tickets of its flights from Ukraine due to which many students could not come back on time.

Speaking to ANI, Baghel said, “Air India has increased the fare of tickets from Rs 24,000-Rs 25,000 to Rs 60,000- Rs 80,000, had it been the same, many more students would have possibly come back on time.”
The Chief Minister further requested the Government of India to bring students near the border so that they are evacuated safely and also urged to increase the number of evacuation flights.

“The students stranded in Kharkiv and Kyiv are facing a lot of difficulties. I request the Government of India to bring these students near the border so that they are evacuated safely. Also, the number of evacuation planes should be increased,” he added.

The second special evacuation flight of Air India carrying 250 Indians landed at the Delhi airport in the early hours of Sunday. Air India’s AI-1942 has been operated as a special charter flight from Bucharest to Delhi Airport.

The first flight from Romania carrying 219 Indian students reached Mumbai on Saturday evening.

The third flight to Delhi with 240 Indian nationals has also taken off from Hungary’s Budapest under Operation Ganga, informed Minister of External Affairs, Dr S Jaishankar.

So far, a total of 469 Indian nationals have been evacuated from war-hit Ukraine.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday spoke with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and conveyed India’s deep concern for the safety and security of Indian citizens, including students, present in Ukraine.

He sought facilitation by Ukrainian authorities to expeditiously and safely evacuate Indian citizens.

Amid the ongoing Ukraine-Russia crisis, the Indian Embassy in Kyiv has advised Indian citizens against moving to any of the border checkpoints without prior coordination with government officials at border posts.

This comes as the Russian military continues to advance in the capital city of Ukraine, according to media reports. Explosions in parts of Kyiv were heard on Friday as Russian forces approached the city, media reports said on Saturday. (ANI)

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