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26 scientists among 150 Indians returning home from S Africa this week

Source: Daily Excelsior, 01/01/1970

The diplomat said those left out are likely to be repatriated on an
Air India flight under the Indian government’s Vande Bharat mission.
“People who are going back on this flight include 26 scientists from
India who were stuck in Cape Town after they returned from a mission
to Antarctica,” Ranjan said.
“They were here for the past three months, so this was a priority for
us to send them back to India,” the official said.
Ranjan said 93 members of the ISE Cruise who were stuck in the
coastal city of Durban were also a priority for them.
Others approved for the flight are those who are ill or on a
temporary tourist visa.
Ranjan said the ticket price for the one-way flight was 15,000 rands,
which was fixed by the SAA and the Indian government had nothing to
do with it.
The fare, which is almost thrice the normal ticket price, has to be
paid by the passengers themselves.
An Air India flight can be expected in phase 3 of the Vande Bharat
mission in June as there is no fixed date for it yet, Ranjan said.
Currently, the mission in phase 2, the official added.
“Many people who could not pay could not be accommodated on the
flight. I feel very sorry for them, but we can have some say and
discounts when we get our own flights, so I just want them to wait
patiently and not feel disheartened,” Ranjan said. (PTI)
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