BHUBANESWAR: The Bahrain Odia Samaj on Monday sought intervention of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan for reduction of airfare fixed for repatriation of Odia workers stranded in Gulf country due to lockdown. Founder of the forum Arun Kumar Praharaj said the fare of Bahrain-Bhubaneswar Air India flight scheduled to leave on June 20 under Vande Bharat Mission is 148 Bahraini Dinar (BHD), around `30,000 in Indian currency, compared to around 85 BHD for Bahrain to Chennai or Dubai to Bhubaneswar.
“The ticket cost is too high for the Odia workers who have remained stranded in labour camps of the country for the last three months without any job,” Praharaj said while pointing out that many of these workers are now dependent on the community help for their daily ration as all their savings have exhausted during lockdown period.
He requested the Chief Minister and the Union Minister to pursue the matter with the Centre to keep the airfare below 100 BHD for the distressed Odia workers.The forum has also sought the intervention of Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Nodal Officer of Ministry of External Affairs Rahul Srivastava in this regard. “We are hopeful that the Centre will look into the matter and take steps to reduce the fares,” Praharaj said.