The Indian Air Force on Wednesday commenced a key air courier service that serves the people of Kargil and ferried more than 30 people to and fro Srinagar, officials said. The civilian population of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh face challenges in the winters due to closure of road from Srinagar to Kargil due to snowfall.
”As many as 35 passengers were lifted today. Sixteen passengers were airlifted from Srinagar to Kargil and 15 passengers from Kargil to Srinagar in the Indian Air Force AN-32 aircraft”, an official said.
Four passengers, including a patient, were also lifted in Mi-17 and Pawan Hans helicopters from Kargil to Srinagar, they said.
During these difficult times, IAF provides airlift to the locals from Srinagar to Kargil and from Kargil to Jammu-Srinagar, they said.
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IAF also assists by evacuating patients using helicopters from remote locations, they said. ”This year courier services from Kargil to Srinagar and Jammu will commence from January 18 and will continue throughout the road closure period. ”The courier services will operate between Srinagar and Kargil on every Monday and Wednesday and between Kargil and Jammu on every Tuesday and Thursday,” official said.
A coordination meeting was held recently between representatives of IAF and civil authorities to work out the modalities and details of the courier services.