Indian tourists stuck in Uzbekistan seek evacuation

Mumbai, March 18 (IANS) Over four dozen Indian tourists, including at least 39 from Maharashtra and dozen-odd from Gujarat, on Wednesday sought the help of Maharashtra Minister Jayant Patil for their evacuation from Uzbekistan.

Water Resources Minister Patil said he would raise the issue of stuck tourists with Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar to further take the matter up with the Centre. “We will make all efforts to ensure your return at the earliest possible,” Patil assured them.

In a video-call to Patil, the tourists – mostly from western Maharashtra – said that they had undertaken a weeklong group tour on March 10 and were scheduled to fly back home from Uzbekistan shortly after midnight (local time) on Wednesday (early morning of March 18 in India).

However, at the last minute, the Uzbekistan Airways cancelled the flight, leaving them stuck in the Central Asian country that has reported one suspected case of COVID-19, one of the stranded persons said.

Efforts to get help from the Indian Embassy in Tashkent did not fructify, the tourists claimed from an undisclosed location, probably a hotel room.

The stranded tourists from Maharasthra hail from Pune, Sangli, Nashik, Solapur, and Kolhapur.



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