It was due to the restrictions imposed by the Tamil Nadu government that adequate flights could not be operated to the State under the Vande Bharath Mission (VBM), the Union government informed the Madras High Court on Monday.
Senior Counsel P Wilson, appearing for the DMK, submitted that as per the previous orders of the Court, the Central and State governments are supposed to submit their plan to evacuate 27,000 stranded Indians for which 158 flights are required.
But the Centre, in a recent memo, blamed the State for restricting landing of flights, he said and sought a direction to bring those stranded abroad at the earliest.
Additional Solicitor General G Rajagopalan, appearing for the Centre, submitted that TN Government is not giving clearance for VBM flights, forcing passengers to land in neighbouring States and then proceed to Tamil Nadu via road.
Additional Advocate General SR Rajagopal, appearing for the State, sought further time to get instructions on why the Centre took the stand that the State is not giving clearance while the latter has been periodically offering such clearances.
The Centre had submitted that as on June 25, of the 47,514 stranded Indians who wanted to return to Tamil Nadu as many as 19,558 have arrived. It said the TN government had sought to restrict the number of daily flights to Chennai to two and not more than one in the case of Tiruchy, Coimbatore and Madurai.