Panaji: Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Saturday gave clearance for three Chartered Flights for stranded Indians, mostly Goans, who were working on a ship from Italy to Goa.
MHA’s Under Secretary Pratap Singh Rawat, in an office memorandum issued, has said that the ministry has no objection to carrying out immigration functions in respect of 414 Indian nationals coming to India (Dabolim Airport, Goa) from Italy through three special flights arranged by M/s Costa Cruise company (tentatively on May 20,2020) subject to production of a No Objection Certificate from competent authorities in Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Director General of Civil Aviation of Government of India.
“The airline shall also strictly adhere to the guidelines regarding COVID-19 issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of External Affairs and DGCA,” the memorandum reads.
Welcoming the order, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant tweeted “I thank the Ministry of Home Affairs and @MEAIndia for facilitating special chartered flights carrying 414 Goan seafarers from Italy to land at Dabolim airport at Goa.”
As per Goa government data, there are at least 7,000 Goans who were working on different ships are stranded across the globe.
Goa Seaman Association of India’s Founder President Dixon Vaz said that the it was a “good news” for the family members of these crew which was stranded on the ships.
“Finally we are happy that the Goans working on ships are arriving directly to Goa by chartered flights. We expect similar action to follow in future and all Goans who are stranded abroad and brought back home,” he added.