There are more than 300 Andhra natives in Ukraine either at work or doing studies there. (Representational Image/ PTI)
Visakhapatanam: Soon after India joined other countries to have repatriation of its citizens from Ukraine in view of the tense situation there, many Telugu families wanting to return home from there have expressed concern over the high cost of airfare.
The issue was raised with the Andhra Pradesh non-resident Telugu society (APNRTS), an entity of AP government. The society opened a control room with phone numbers to help the relatives here to connect with the families in the conflict zone.
There are more than 300 Andhra natives in Ukraine either at work or doing studies there. Some 69 of them including 45 males shared their contact details with the society so far.
While 13 of these are from Guntur, Krishna has 10, Visakhapatnam 9, East Godavari 7, Kadapa and Prakasam 6 each, Chittoor 5, West Godavari 3, Nellore 2 and Vizianagaram 1 persons there.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, a functionary at APNRTS said, "None of the students returned home so far as per our information. Most of those who were registered with us have raised the problem of high airfare from Ukraine to India. The normal airfare is around Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 per passenger, but it has reached more than Rs 1 lakh."
He said that the agency has immediately brought the issue to the notice of the Indian Embassy in Ukraine, as also the Union external affairs minister through the AP government.
Civil aviation ministry sources said a reason behind the steep rise in airfare was that flights would have to fly with empty seats on one way from India to Ukraine.
Speaking to DC from Ukraine, Telugu student Ajith said, "Most of the students are readying to leave for home. I am also coming to India. The situation here is cool on Wednesday, but we don’t know what will happen the next day."
Vaikuntha Rao, a resident at Kurmannapalem in the city said, "My son Kushal Sai is studying MBBS in Ukraine. We suggested that he come back to Vizag. He is coming on February 25."
Andhra People in Ukraine, who registered with AP government as on Wednesday
East Godavari - 7
Kadapa - 6
West Godavari - 3
Nellore - 2
Total - 69