IAF airlifts 2,100 people stranded in snow-bound JK | india | Hindustan Times
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IAF airlifts 2,100 people stranded in snow-bound JK

india Updated: Jan 22, 2012 18:53 IST

Coming to the rescue of those stranded in snow-bound parts of Jammu and Kashmir, the IAF has ferried over 2100 people, including 1600 civilians, between the state's twin capital cities.

"It is one of the biggest peace-time day-night rescue and relief operations in recent years," Defence spokesperson, Jammu, SN Acharya said on Sunday.

He said 1613 civilians were ferried between the twin capital cities in 6 sorties of IL-76 and 5 sorties of AN-32 planes of IAF. Similarly, 575 army personnel were transported in 2 sorties of IL-76 and one sortie of AN-32.

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

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.

Meanwhile, over 3,100 vehicles, stranded for past over one week due heavy snowfall and landslides, left Srinagar for Jammu as authorities allowed one-way traffic movement on the 300-km-long Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, police said.

The vehicles, mostly trucks and tankers, were stranded at various places on the highway including Banihal, Ramban, Patnitop, Udhampur and Nagrota areas of Jammu district.

The highway, the only surface link to Kashmir, was closed on January 13 due to landslides but reopened for one way-traffic on January 14 for a brief period. It was again closed due to heavy snowfall, avalanches and landslides on January 15 and reopened for one-way traffic briefly on January 18. This January, it has remained closed for almost 11 days.

Traffic on Batote-Doda-Kishtwar was allowed on Sunday after remaining disrupted for 13 days in view of snowfall at various places besides most of the inter-district roads in Reasi, Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban.