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Panic response in initial hours as 25,000 expats register to return home

At 12,768, the highest number came from UAE when registration began on Norka Roots website by 6.30pm on Sunday  

Published: 27th April 2020 03:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th April 2020 03:45 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The first hour of the Norka Roots registration for the Kerala diaspora who wish to return to the state once the flights resume saw panic response from NRIs. Over 25,000 expats registered on the website in the initial hours when the registration started by 6.30 pm on Sunday. According to sources, the highest number came from the UAE with 12,768 registrations. The trend of the people who wish to come home can be ascertained in two to three days.

The state was expecting 3 lakh to 5.5 lakh expats to fly down to Kerala once the curbs are eased, but the registration would help the government ascertain the volume of inflow and make arrangements for the safe repatriation of NRK. Though the state has made elaborate planning for treating people who come from abroad, the Norka stats will help authorities decide on full-scale arrangements such as taking control of more buildings, including hotels, to accommodate people in the districts where airports are situated and other health facilities.

Further, the state will start a similar platform for the Keralites who live outside the state in two days. After estimating the number Keralites who live in other states and abroad, their relocation facilities would be finalised. The state has approached the Centre to allow these people to come home before regular flight and train services are being launched. Even the Centre does not want them to get mixed with regular passengers, said the officials.

It is estimated that the state has over 10 lakh vacant buildings, which are enough to accommodate these returnees. After the initial panic registrations, it is less likely the number will witness an unprecedented swelling. Only those in the vulnerable category such as people in the migrant camps with no jobs, people whose visiting visa expired, the elderly, pregnant women, children, the sick, students who completed the course, and those who completed jail terms are allowed to register on the website.

Gearing up to receive expats
The state expects 3 lakh to 5.5 lakh expats to fly down to Kerala
The state to start a similar platform for Keralites who live outside the state 
It is estimated that state has over 10 lakh vacant buildings to accommodate these returnees
After the initial panic registrations, it is less likely the number will witness an unprecedented swelling

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