COVID-19: More than 11 lakh Indians returned to country under Vande Bharat mission

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As of September 18, an amount of Rs 18.95 crore has been reimbursed by aviation ministry to airlines for Lifeline UDAN flights

More than 11 lakh Indians (excluding land border crossings) have returned to India under the Vande Bharat Mission till August, said Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Ministry of Civil Aviation launched 'Lifeline UDAN' in March this year. Lifeline UDAN was an initiative to ensure a steady supply of essentials as well as medical supplies, PPEs (personal protective equipment), test kits etc. to all parts of the country.

For this purpose, the ministry facilitated establishing Lifeline UDAN mechanism to match the requirements/consignments of states /UTs/MoHFW (HLL & ICMR)/other ministries with special flight plans.

Vande Bharat Mission consists of special repatriation flights operated by Indian carriers and chartered flights operated by both Indian and foreign carriers.

Initially, the consignor state governments/UTs/agencies were to incur the transportation cost for Lifeline UDAN flights.

However, a contingency expenditure plan for excess expenditure upto a total amount of Rs 30 crore was approved for payments of Lifeline UDAN operations to be made by the Civil Aviation Ministry.

As of September 18, an amount of Rs 18.95 crore has been reimbursed by civil aviation ministry to airlines/ground handling agencies for Lifeline UDAN flights.

Image credit: Financial Express

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