After 12 engineers from the Karnataka Water Resources Department were left stranded in New Zealand amid Covid-19-induced lockdown, the state government sought help from the Centre to bring them back to the country.
In a letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Karnataka water resources minister Ramesh Jarkiholi stated that parents of the engineers, who were sent to New Zealand for training purposes, were panicking and have urged the water resources department to arrange for the return of their children.
"Due to the lockdown, the engineers are forced to stay back. Their families are putting immense pressure on the water resources department to arrange for their return as the female engineers have children between the ages of two and seven. The parents of these engineers are panicking," the New Indian Express quoted the minister as saying in the letter.
The stranded engineers have also contacted the state department mentioning the difficulties being faced by them.
The minister requested the MEA to bring back all the 12 engineers on a flight scheduled on June 7, from Auckland to New Delhi.
The engineers were reportedly sent to New Zealand to receive training at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) from March 3 to March 20 and were scheduled to fly back to India on March 23. However, given the Covid-19 lockdown announced by the Centre during that time, they were left stranded in the foreign country.