IAF airlifts nearly 500 stranded passengers in J&K

Indian Air Force on Friday airlifted around 500 stranded passengers from Ladakh region and Gurez sector, which remains cut off from the rest of the state due to snow in winter, to Jammu and Srinagar.

Last Updated: Feb 18, 2011, 21:35 PM IST

Srinagar (J&K): Indian Air Force on Friday
airlifted around 500 stranded passengers from Ladakh region
and Gurez sector, which remains cut off from the rest of the
state due to snow in winter, to Jammu and Srinagar.

The IAF deployed two AN-32 aircrafts to airlift 370
passengers between Zanskar, Leh, Kargil, Jammu and Srinagar,
Coordinator in the Divisional Commissioner`s office, Aamir Ali
said here.
While 54 passengers were airlifted from Kargil to
Jammu, 118 passengers were airlifted Jammu to Kargil, Ali
said.

"As many as 50 passengers were airlifted from Kargil
to Srinagar and 98 passengers from Srinagar to Kargil, while
32 passengers were airlifted from Leh to Padum and 18
passengers were airlifted on the return sortie," he said.

The Air Force also deployed one Advanced Light
Helicopter to airlift 122 passengers between Bandipora and
Gurez.

"Over 30 passengers were airlifted from Sonarwani in
Bandipora to Dawar, 10 passengers to Kanzalwan and 11 to
Baduab. On the return sortie, 46 passengers were lifted from
Dawar to Bandipora and 11 passengers from Kanzalwan and 10
from Baduab to Bandipora," Ali said.

The Kargil air courier service operates thrice a week
between Kargil and Srinagar and once a week between Kargil and
Jammu.

Meanwhile, the stranded passengers of Machhil and
Karnah sectors in Kupwara district have also appealed Chief
Minister Omar Abdullah for starting a courier service to their
areas as well.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Asghar Samoon has
assured them that the matter would be taken up with the state
government for allotment of tonnage so that the IAF can be
requested to make available to helicopter for the stranded
passengers.

PTI