Operation Ganga is an ongoing operation by the Government of India to provide humanitarian assistance amidst the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine to Indian citizens who have crossed over to neighbouring countries. This then involves transport assistance from the neighbouring countries of Romania, Hungary, Poland, Moldova, Slovakia to reach India.

 

On February 26, 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during which among pressing issues, the safety of students was brought up. The first evacuation flight from Bucharest reached New Delhi with 249 nationals at around 2.55am Indian Standard Time (IST) on 27 February. Four union ministers were sent the next day to the neighbouring countries to assist in prioritising coordination with local authorities. The Indian Air Force and multiple private airlines (Air India, IndiGo, Air India Express and SpiceJet) provided logistical support.

 

India had about 20,000 Indian nationals in Ukraine, out of which just over 18,000 were students. By March 3, 6400 Indians had been flown to India. About 18,000 had crossed the border of Ukraine. However emergency evacuation has been requested by students still in Ukraine, such as in Pisochyn. Following a “Leave Kharkiv Immediately” embassy advisory on 2 March, the Indian Ministry of Defence released a survival advisory for those still in Ukraine and specifically Kharkiv.

 

In a bid to further scale up the evacuation efforts, the government has deployed 80 flights under ‘Operation Ganga’ to evacuate the stranded Indians from Ukraine.
The government has also roped in more than two dozen Ministers to monitor evacuation missions without any hiccups, sources told ANI on Thursday.


Sources told ANI that the government has accelerated the evacuation plan for the Indians stranded in Ukraine. Total flights ferry has been increased to bring more and more Indians. By march 10, a total of 80 flights will be pressed in to service to evacuate the stranded Indians. These flights belong to the fleet of Air India, Air India Express, IndiGo, Spice Jet, Vistara, Go Air and planes from Air Force.

 

As per ANI a list of evacuation centres and approximate number of flights to carry on evacuation has been earmarked as follows:

 

Evacuation Centre

No. of scheduled flights

Logistic support by

No. of individual flights

Romanian capital city Bucharest

Hungary’s capital Budapest

35

28

Air India

Air India Express

Indigo

Spice Jet

Vistara

Indian Air Force

Go Air

Air India

Indigo

Spice Jet

Indian Air Force

14

  8

  7

  1

  3

  2

15

  2

  9

  1

  1

Rzeszow, Poland

  9

Indigo

Indian Air Force

  8

  1

Suceava, Romania

  5

Details NA

Details NA

Kosice, Slovakia

  3

Details NA

Details NA

 

As per newspaper report approximately 17,000 stranded Indians will be evacuated by these 80 flights, scheduled to take of from Budapest, and Bucharest, and Rzeszow, Suceava, and Kosice.

Till March2, a total of 24 flights have landed under ‘Operation Ganga’. The government started ‘Operation Ganga’ on February 26 to evacuate stranded Indians from Ukraine.

The Ministry of External Affairs said more than 7,400 persons are expected to be brought through special flights in the next two days. Further, 3,500 persons are expected to be brought back on Friday and over 3900 on March 5.

The first flight carrying Indians landed in Mumbai on February 26 which was received by Piyush Goyal, Minister for Commerce and Industry, Textile, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

Prime Minister has sent four Ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia, Hardeep Singh Puri, Kiran Rijiju, and VK Singh to Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Poland to oversee the evacuation of Indians.

The Modi government has also roped in ministers to monitor smooth evacuation and receive Indians at Delhi and Mumbai Airports who are coming from Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Poland under operation Ganga.

Minister Jitendra Singh, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Rao Inderjeet Singh, Narayan Rane, G Krishan Reddy, Kailash Choudhary, Parshottam Pupala, Bhagwant Khuba, Virendra Kumar, Meenakshi Lekhi, V.Muralidharan, Bhagwat Karad, Nitish Pramanik, Shantanu Thakur, Rao Saheb Danve, Darshana Jardosh, Devusinh Chauhan, Bharati Pravin Pawar, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma, Subhas Sarkar, Kapil Patil have been assigned to receive the flights coming from neighbouring countries of Ukraine carrying Indians.