New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has assured the Kerala government that around 250 Keralites stranded in quake-hit Nepal would be brought back, a state minister said on Monday.
Kerala Minister for Diaspora K.C. Joseph along with parliament members from the state - including Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson P.J. Kurien - met Sushma Swaraj in the capital.
"We have been able to understand that there are around 250 Keralites who are still in Nepal, while 115 of them are now travelling by road to Gorakhpur (in Uttar Pradesh) and 47 have already reached Delhi," Joseph told the media in Delhi.
"The minister (Sushma Swaraj) has promised us that all efforts will be made to bring back our people from Nepal. The weather conditions, however, at times become bad and as a result aircraft are unable to land there," he said.
Joseph said his visit to Delhi reflects the "seriousness" of the Kerala government when it comes to crunch situations.
"The state government has made all arrangements for all Keralites who arrive from Nepal to come to the Kerala House here if they want. All those whose air tickets have expired for onward journey to Kerala will get revalidated tickets," he said.
Joseph told the media it should appreciate the good work the Kerala government was doing.
"If a Kerala minister would not have come here, you would have asked, 'Why is the government not sending a minister?' Now that I have come, you ask, 'Was there a need for a minister to travel from there to here?'."
"Remember it was only the Kerala government that followed up every activity when Indians were evacuated from Iraq, Libya and Yemen," said a peeved Joseph.
He also spoke about the condition of Ebin Soorya, a medical professional from Kozhikode who, along with two of his colleagues, has now been tracked down in Nepal.
"Soorya is under medical attention in Nepal and Sushma Swaraj has promised to airlift him to Delhi at the earliest," he said.
Meanwhile, Soorya's mother told the media in Kerala that she managed to speak to her son who is currently in a hospital in Nepal. She said he underwent dialysis after doctors said his renal condition was not good.
The devastating quake that struck Nepal on Saturday has left over 3,300 people dead and thousands of others injured.