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U’khand Police sends expedition to Mt Everest to boost skills in high-altitude rescue ops

Uttarakhand Police on Thursday sent a 15-member team of the State Disaster Response Force on an expedition to the Mount Everest

dehradun Updated: Mar 29, 2018 21:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat hands over expedition flag to team leader and IGP Sajay Gunjiyal (extreme left) in Dehradun on Thursday. (Vinay S Kumar/HT Photo)

Uttarakhand Police on Thursday sent a 15-member team of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) on an expedition to the Mount Everest. With this, the hill state became the first in the country to send a state police expedition to the iconic peak.

Speaking about the expedition, director general of police (DGP) Anil K Raturi said besides climbing the Mount Everest, the aim was to provide hands-on experience on search and rescue operations in high altitude terrain to SDRF personnel.

He said being primarily a mountainous state, there are many habitations in Uttarakhand which are located in challenging terrain. Besides this, every year a large number of adventure tourists also visit the state.

The SDRF routinely carries out search and rescue operations in high altitudes. But due to limited resources, it lacks specialised training. “I am confident that the experience gained in this expedition will prove to be helpful for SDRF,” Raturi said.

The expedition was flagged off by chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat in Dehradun on Thursday.

In his speech, the CM said the exposure that the team members will gain in this expedition will not only help them, but also be helpful for others in the state who aim to climb the Mount Everest in future.

Team leader, IGP Sanjay Gunjiyal said of 15 members, 11 are climbing members and the rest will support other requirements. “In all, the expedition will be 75 days long and depending on weather conditions, the team will scale the peak between May 15 and 30,” he said.

Laying stress on the importance of equipping the high altitude rescue wing of SDRF, the DGP said, “In the aftermath of the 2013 Kedarnath tragedy, we realised that the police and SDRF need to urgently develop a core competency in rescue operations in mountainous terrain.

“The SDRF is being regularly upgraded. Despite limited resources, it is a positive sign that Uttarakhand Police is leading an expedition to Mt Everest.”

In September 2017, 11 people were trapped under snow on a trekking route between Kedarnath and Badrinath. In 2016, two Polish trekkers went missing during an expedition in Uttarakhand. While one of them died after being rescued, the other could not be traced.

Meanwhile, a 33-year-old trekker from Pune was somehow rescued days after she went missing during a high altitude expedition in the state.

First Published: Mar 29, 2018 21:11 IST