People, mostly students, who returned to Bengaluru from war-torn Ukraine said their journey was hassle-free due to the efforts made by the Indian Embassy officials in Ukraine as well as Hungary and Slovakia.
Mohammed Shoaib and Prathik Nagaraj, who are first-year students in the Uzhhorod National Medical University, said they were in the western part of Ukraine, which largely remained unaffected by the Russian attack on the country.
After the war broke out between Russia and Ukraine, buses were arranged for them by the Indian Embassy officials to transport them to neighbouring Hungary and Slovakia, the medical students said.
"Our passports were verified at the border, after which we were allowed to enter Hungary. From there, we boarded a flight to India and reached our country,” Nagaraj told PTI.
According to him, five buses were arranged from there to take Indians to neighbouring countries.
The two students said there was no war-like situation in the western part of Ukraine unlike in Kyiv, the national capital of Ukraine, and another key city of Kharkiv.
Meanwhile, Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority Commissioner Manoj Rajan said Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has directed the officials to open facilitation centres at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi and Mumbai Airport to coordinate and support stranded students hailing from Karnataka.
"The air tickets from New Delhi and Mumbai to Bengaluru is borne by the state government. Further, the Nodal Officer and his team are in constant touch with MEA to evacuate remaining stranded students in Ukraine,” he said in a statement.
Rajan also said 37 people, including students, returned from Ukraine and many more will be flying back soon.
He added that India is making every effort to bring back every citizen stuck in Ukraine.
The KSDMA Commissioner received the Ukraine returnees on their arrival at the KIA here.
The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) decided to offer to the Ukraine returnees free travel ride to their hometown within the state.
"Considering the plight of our people returning from Ukraine, especially the student community, it is decided to offer a free travel ride by KSRTC bus from the nearest airport of disembarkation in Karnataka, to their native places within the state,” Managing Director of KSRTC, Shivayogi C Kalasad said in a statement.He added that all nodal officers posted at airports in the state and the KSRTC have been directed to coordinate properly.