Separate helipad for Dalai Lama likely | india | Hindustan Times
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Separate helipad for Dalai Lama likely

india Updated: Jan 13, 2011 19:42 IST
Gaurav Bisht

In wake of repeated security threats to exiled spiritual leader Dalai Lama security agencies have once again revived plan to built a separate helipad for Noble laureate in Mcleodganj.

The proposal to construct a separate helipad for exiled spiritual leader had been lying in limbo for the past six years. Agencies manning Dalai Lama's security had planned to build a helipad within Dalai Lama's palace located at hill top to meet the exigency, since the Nobel laureate has been provided high security cover.

"Helipad close to Dalai Lama's residence would prove significant in many ways since he is under high security cover and also it is important from his health point of view" Senior Superintendent of Police Kangra Diljeet Thakur told Hindustan Times.

The proposal of setting up helipad for Dalai Lama had been gathering dust for want of green signal from the separate ministries involved in giving clearances. It is learnt ministry of external affairs had discussed the plan but it was not further pursued with ministry of Civil aviation and defense ministry.

Dalai Lama's growing age and security threat is stoking concern security agencies and the Tibetan government in exile. Security agencies involving the military and air force had been conducting routine mock drills to update evacuation plans drawn for Dalai Lama, after the 76–year-old leader was taken ill two years back. Security agencies had been using army helipad at Dharamsala cantonment for mock drills, which is located about seven kilometers away from Dalai Lama's residence. Security agencies had felt the need for helipad close to Dalai Lama's residence since the narrow lanes and traffic congestion could cause delay in the evacuation plans drawn for the spiritual leader. It is likely that the proposal for helipad for Dalai Lama could be taken up once again with the central government.

Owing to security risk posed, Dalai Lama palace in Mcleodganj is heavily guarded. Dalai Lama who fled in 1959 after failed uprising against Chinse troops has three tiers three tier security manned by Himachal Police. Internal security is looked after close protection group of Tibetans.

More than 150 men are deployed for round the clock security of Dalai Lama's palace.

Recently security wing of Central Tibetan Administration had anticipated threat to Dalai Lama, the security around his palace was beefed up. The state police installed close circuit cameras at Dalai Lama's palace and main Buddhist temple located outside his palace. Police department had also asked the ministry of external affairs to provide funds for installing chemical detectors at Dalai Lama palace, which is frequented by hundreds of visitors across the world.