New Delhi: Carrying out their evacuation spree, several hundred marooned people were flown out of flood-ravaged Jammu and Kashmir today, as Air India mounted 21 flights between Jammu, Srinagar and Leh to carry military personnel for aiding rescue and relief operations.
Private airlines, including Jet Airways, IndiGo and SpiceJet, too flew to Delhi a large number of passengers, as these carriers and Air India rushed hundreds of tonnes of relief materials to the northern state.
According to latest official figures, the number of stranded passengers airlifted by all airlines to Delhi has risen to over 5,000 in the past four days.
Air India operated three flights carrying 336 passengers free of charge, taking the total number of evacuees to 1,346. Besides, it flew 21 sorties to transport military personnel free of charge to Srinagar and Leh to carry out rescue and relief activities.
To facilitate the carriage of relief material to Srinagar by various state governments and NGOs through Delhi, Air India also opened a dedicated round-the-clock control desk at its Cargo Terminal at IGI Airport here.
NGOs and state governments who want to send such materials to Jammu and Kashmir could call Air India numbers 011- 25652635, +918826294660 and +918826294661. Air India has so far flown 44 tons of relief material to Srinagar.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has also established night-shelter facilities at Srinagar, Jammu and Leh airports, apart from various other facilities.
It has also ensured full functionality of aids at the airports including Instrument Landing System on 24 hours basis to cater to commercial as well as relief flights.
AAI was also maintaining effective coordination with other agencies involved in the relief work like the airforce, CRPF, local police and the airlines for smooth flight operations.
Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited has deployed four choppers and kept five more of them ready for deployment in emergent situation, a Civil Aviation Ministry official said here.
Jet Airways will also operate an additional flight to Leh tomorrow to bering back stranded people.