Russia-Ukraine conflict: All you need to know about Operation Ganga, Indian government’s evacuation plan

Russia-Ukraine conflict: All you need to know about Operation Ganga, Indian government’s evacuation plan
Operation GangaBCCL
  • The government of India launched a multi-pronged ‘Operation Ganga’ to evacuate stranded Indians from Ukraine.
  • Till now, approximately 700 Indians have returned to India from Ukraine.
  • For this, the government also rolled out a new twitter handle ‘OpGanga Helpline’ to assist Indian evacuation.
Amidst the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the Government of India, on Sunday, launched a ‘multi-pronged’ initiative named ‘Operation Ganga’ to evacuate around 15,000 stranded Indians in Ukraine.

Harsh V Shringla, who is the Foreign Secretary of India, said in a statement that the government of India will bear the entire cost of the evacuation process in Ukraine.

As the airspace of Ukraine is closed due to the ongoing tensions, the Indian evacuation flights are operating from the neighbouring countries like Romania and Hungary. The government is also facilitating evacuation of stranded Indians from its borders crossing Romania, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) data, there were around 20,000 Indians including students stuck in Ukraine. However, 4,000 managed to come back to India before the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

Till now, three Air India flights — two from Budapest to Delhi and one from Bucharest to Mumbai — have been able to bring back approximately 700 Indians from Ukraine to India, according to the Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.


A fourth flight, which would be carrying around 198 stranded Indians from the Romanian capital Bucharest left for India on Sunday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in a statement.

While receiving the returnees from Ukraine, Piyush Goyal, Cabinet Minister of India said, “Government's main objective was to bring back each and every Indian stranded in Ukraine.”

The MEA also announced a dedicated Twitter handle ‘OpGanga Helpline’ to assist Indian evacuation from Ukraine. A 24x7 control centre has also been set up to assist in the evacuation of Indian nationals through the border crossing points with Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovak Republic.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also chaired a high-level meeting on the Ukraine crisis on Sunday to ensure the safety of the Indians and evacuating them is the top priority of the government, said officials.

“Our sons, daughters still stranded in Ukraine will be brought back. The government of India is working day and night for them. Wherever there is trouble, we left [sic] no stone unturned to bring our citizens back,” said PM Modi in an election rally in Uttar Pradesh's Basti.

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