The Government on Thursday said Air India and Indian Airlines have been asked to increase flights to bring over two lakh Indians stranded in the UAE as members in both Houses sought its urgent intervention in the wake of the Gulf nation directing all those without work permits to leave by September 2.
"I have talked to Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel and the Air India Chairman for increasing the frequency of flights," Minister of State for Overseas Affairs Vyalar Ravi said in the Rajya Sabha.
Since most of the stranded people were Telugu speaking, the External Affairs Ministry had made arrangements to depute officials knowing that language, he said during Zero Hour.
Raising the issue, Ravula Chandra Sekhar Reddy (TDP) charged the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh with not doing enough for the safe return of the stranded people, most of whom belonged to SCs and STs.
In the Lok Sabha, S Sudhakar Reddy (CPI) said there were 3.5 lakh Indians in the Gulf country and of them 80,000 belonged to Andhra Pradesh alone.
The UAE government had directed that all those without proper permits should leave the country, he said.
Earlier, such people had been asked to leave by September 30 but the deadline had been advanced to September 2, the member said.
He said many of them did not have money to buy return tickets, adding the External Affairs Ministry was approached earlier for help but in vain.
Reddy said the government should either help get visa extended for such people or arrange for their return home.