Boasting about the government's achievement, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said that Operation Ganga which was undertaken to evacuate the stranded Indians from war-torn Ukraine was one of the most well-coordinated and successful evacuation missions anywhere in the world.
Mr Puri was speaking in the Lok Sabha during a discussion on the situation in Ukraine.
"Operation Ganga will rank as one of the most well-coordinated and successful humanitarian evacuation missions undertaken by any country, anywhere," the Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs said.
He further talked about the involvement of the government in the Operation from the level of the Prime Minister to the External Affairs Minister and said, "we were worried about the welfare of each one of our citizens."
He gave the example of Budapest in Hungary where he was deputed by the government to coordinate the evacuation efforts.
"One evening in Budapest, suddenly 1700 people came because there was clogging at the border of Romania and Poland and some people were just being pushed down... we still managed... we increased the number of flights from 4 to 7 to 11 in a day," he said.
Hardeep Singh Puri was one of the four cabinet ministers who were deputed to the neighbouring countries of Ukraine to coordinate the evacuation efforts on the ground, the other ministers being, Kiren Rijiju, Jyotiraditya Scindia and VK Singh.
"The prime minister was working the telephone lines... he was speaking to the heads of state and government, not only in the Russian Federation, not only in Ukraine but all the others," Hardeep Puri further said.
Earlier in March, the External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar in a written statement laid on the table of Rajya Sabha said that the government has been able to safely bring home 22,500 Indian citizens and 147 foreign nationals belonging to 18 countries from Ukraine since February 2022.
In addition, the Union Minister also briefly talked about the recent fuel price hike, saying that the fuel prices hiked in India are 1/10th of prices hiked in other countries.
"Fuel prices hiked in India are 1/10th of prices hiked in other countries. Comparing gasoline (petrol) prices between April 2021 and March 22, the prices in the US have increased by 51 per cent, Canada 52 per cent, Germany by 55 per cent, UK 55 per cent, France 50 per cent, Spain 58 per cent but in India 5 per cent," the Union Minister said.
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