Thiruvananthapuram, April 30 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, here on Thursday, said 3,53,468 Keralites settled in 201 countries had registered on Norka-Roots portal to return, as and when the lockdown was lifted and airports opened.
A majority of this is from Middle East countries. It includes 1,53,660 from the UAE, Saudi Arabia (47,268), the UK (2,112), the USA (1,895) and Ukraine (1,864).
“We have decided to present the final list of prospective returnees to the Centre and also to the respective Indian embassies to make adequate travel arrangements,” said Vijayan.
Vijayan said 94,483 Keralites staying in other states had also registered to return. It included 30,570 from Karnataka, 29,181 from Tamil Nadu and 13,113 from Maharashtra.
Students, pregnant women and senior citizens would get the priority.
The registration has to be done on www.norkaroots.org of the state-run Norka-Roots, the official body of diaspora.
The facility was launched by the Kerala government, after the Centre, following requests from several quarters decided to take a positive step.
Of an estimated 2.5 million non-resident Keralites (NRKs), 90 per cent are in the Middle East countries. Three-five lakh people are likely to return after the revival of air services.