IAF deployed 35 choppers for Lok Sabha polls

The Indian Air Force deployed 35 choppers and ferried over 4,850 passengers across the country, including in Maoist and terrorist-infested areas in Chhatisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir and northeastern states, for the Lok Sabha elections.

PTI| Last Updated: May 08, 2014, 20:41 PM IST

New Delhi: The Indian Air Force deployed 35 choppers and ferried over 4,850 passengers across the country, including in Maoist and terrorist-infested areas in Chhatisgarh, Jammu and Kashmir and northeastern states, for the Lok Sabha elections.

For the election process which started on April 7, we have deployed 35 helicopters, including the Mi-17s, and flown around 1,200 sorties to help ferry poll material such as EVMs and election officials, an IAF spokesperson said here.

The election material and officials at the highest polling station in the Zanskar valley in Ladakh at around 15,000-16,000 feet were ferried by our choppers, he said.

The IAF personnel also deployed election material and officials to far flung areas in Maoist-affected zones in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
Before the commencement of the poll process, the Defence Ministry and the Election Commission had held meetings to chalk out the requirements for helicopters and aircraft for conducting polls, IAF officials said.
The IAF has a fleet of over 150 Mi-17 choppers, which fall in the medium-lift
category, and they are used for ferrying troops and material to high altitude locations and for troop insertion and casualty evacuation in Maoist-infested areas.