IAF to provide air lift facilities during Mansarovar Yatra
20 June 2018
The Indian air force will provide an air lift facility between Pithoragarh and Gunji, a small village near the borders of Tibet and Nepal. in an effort to airlift 1,080 registered passengers during the annual Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.
Gunji is a small village in Uttarakhand near the borders of Tibet and Nepal, at an altitude of 3,2100 metres. This facility will help the travellers complete their journey with relative ease.
The requirement for IAF's assistance arose when the external affairs ministry approached the defence ministry for air lift facilities between places where road connectivity was expected to be poor.
The helicopters, from the Kirpan and Nubra Warrior units of the IAF, will be deployed for about three months catering for the return journey as well and would fly about 300 hrs in the duration of the operations.
“The IAF is ever ready to take over any task assigned by the government and thereafter ensures that it is executed in a most professional manner,” said Air Commodore Pendse of Western Air Command, who is overlooking the operations.
The command had been chosen by Air HQ for this task, especially due to the experience its helicopter pilots in flying in mountainous terrain and landing at high altitudes, of Gunji.
“We have deployed three MLH class of heptrs [air force slang for helicopters] at Pithoragarh, which would be carrying approximately 60-80 passengers per day.” said the task force commander positioned at Pithoragarh.