IAF airlifts 550 stranded people in J&K

The IAF today launched fresh operation by ferrying 550 passengers including 300 civilians between the two capital cities.

Srinagar/Jammu: With hundreds of people left
stranded due to inclement weather, the IAF today launched
fresh operation by ferrying 550 passengers including 300
civilians between the two capital cities.

"The first special flight from Jammu has arrived here
and the passengers from Srinagar are boarding the plane now,"
Kashmir Divisional Commissioner Asgar Hassan Samoon said.
Samoon is supervising the airlifting at the Srinagar
airport.

Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Jammu IAF Station, Air
Commodore Nitin Sathe who supervised the air operation by
setting up an airbridge between Srinagar and Jammu to cater to
stranded passengers, told reporters that IL-76 and AN-32
planes have been pressed into services to shift stranded
people from Jammu to Srinagar and back.
IAF officer said that air operations were also conducted
on January 9 and January 13 to the mountainous belts in Reasi
and Ramban belts to carry essential supplies and food grains
and also evacuate the people.

The Jammu and Kashmir government had requisitioned IAF
choppers to ferry passengers stranded for past ten days at
Jammu and Srinagar due to closure of the Jammu and Srinagar
National Highway.

PRO Defence, Jammu, S N Acharya told reporters here,
"IL-76 carried 250 stranded army jawans from Srinagar to Jammu
and 250 stranded civilians passengers including men, women and
children to Srinagar".

Acharya, who himself flew to Srinagar, said 50 civilians
were also ferried in AN-32 planes from Jammu to Srinagar today
and they would carry more passengers from Kashmir.

The IAF`s CONDORS helicopter unit at Jammu had launched a
major air operation on January 9 for rescue and relief in
snow-hit areas of the state.

The state government is charging a nominal Rs 500 per
passenger for travel between Srinagar and Jammu.

Although airlines have been operating additional flights
for the convenience of the people, the ticket prices have shot
up.

A Jammu-Srinagar ticket is available for Rs 7,000 and
above, against the normal price of Rs 2900.

PTI

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