Kerala ready to bear bill for bringing persons stranded in Iraq

Kerala Government has expressed its readiness to bear the expenses for bringing back Keralites stranded in violence-hit cities in Iraq if the Centre was unwilling to meet the same, Non-Resident Keralites` Affairs Minister KC Joseph told assembly on Tuesday.

PTI| Last Updated: Jun 24, 2014, 20:29 PM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Government has expressed its readiness to bear the expenses for bringing back Keralites stranded in violence-hit cities in Iraq if the Centre was unwilling to meet the same, Non-Resident Keralites` Affairs Minister KC Joseph told assembly on Tuesday.

Replying to a submission seeking urgent steps to ensure safe return of five Keralite nurses trapped in Habiba in Iraq, he said, the state government was in touch with Indian embassy in Iraq and the Centre from the day the turmoil started.

"We have already requested the Centre to bring the stranded people," Joseph said, adding "but, anything could be done only if the ground situation becomes peaceful."

He also said some of the stranded nurses had salary dues and so they were ready to wait.

After the department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA) started helpline here, a total of 204 persons have registered with it, he added.
About 46 nurses were stranded in a hospital in Tikrit city.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had recently written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take immediate steps to bring back the stranded nurses and other workers from Iraq if necessary by arranging a special flight.