Kochi, April 1 (IANS) The first batch of 175 Indians — 135 from Kerala and 40 from Tamil Nadu — will land at the airport here after midnight, a Kerala minister said on Wednesday.
Minister for Diaspora K.C. Joseph told IANS that he was presently on his way driving down to Kochi to receive them.
“Information that we are now getting is limited from Yemen. What we are told is that this is the first batch and they are those people from Yemen who travelled to Djibouti by ship and from there they were put on a flight to Kochi,” said Joseph.
The flight left after 8 p.m. Indian time, he said.
“The Kerala government has made all arrangements to receive them and the Ernakulam district collector is coordinating the entire programme,” he said.
“All those who arrive here will be dropped free at their homes by buses of the state transport corporation. Those in Tamil Nadu will also be given transport facility.
“We are giving everyone a token sum of Rs.2,000 as the first installment. We will do whatever we can to ensure that they have a comfortable trip to reach their homes,” said Joseph.
He said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who was currently in Dubai, was in constant touch with the external affairs ministry, coordinating the evacuation of Indians, especially Keralites, from Yemen.
“At times, we get conflicting reports,” Joseph added.