Centre’s intervention sought to help Indians stranded in Nepal

Congress leader M.K. Raghavan, MP, has sought the immediate intervention of the Centre to solve the issue of Gulf-bound Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), especially from Kerala, stranded in Nepal.

In a memorandum submitted to External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan on Monday, Mr. Raghavan said thousands of Indians who had planned to travel to the Gulf via Nepal had been stranded in the country.

The NRIs had opted transit through Nepal as many Gulf nations had restricted travel of passengers from India. Many of them were worried that they would lose their jobs, he said.

Except Qatar and Bahrain, he said the remaining Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait had banned the entry of Indians to those countries. However, exemptions were given to passengers if they underwent quarantine for 14 days in a third country.

Adding to their woes, Mr. Raghavan said Nepal had regulated RT-PCR tests for foreigners. The Ministry of Health and Population in Nepal had issued a circular restricting the tests for COVID-19 detection to six centres. Nepal also faced a crisis with mounting COVID-19 cases. Thus many Indians were unable to take the RT-PCR tests that have become mandatory to enter the Gulf nations. They also had to shell out at least ₹50,000 for quarantine facilities, the MP said.

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