By Aqib Ahmad
Srinagar: Indian Air Force authorities have told state authorities that it would not lift any injured civilian person for hospitalisation in case of any eventuality in future.
The IAF, however, will provide the facility to civilian officials, the Indian defence ministry conveyed to the state government recently. This was revealed by the state government in response to a question by a legislator, Chaudhary Mohammad Akaram, in the assembly.
The state has many inaccessible habitations where due to natural calamities such as flash floods, avalanches, landslides, etc., and due to accidents at such places, the recourse to surface transport for evacuation of injured is both time consuming and, in some cases, not possible because of road damages and disruptions.
“On the request of the state government, Air Force authorities in the state had been carrying out air lifting of injured for timely hospitalisation in Srinagar and Jammu Medical Colleges. Recently the ministry of defence, Government of India has now
conveyed that this facility shall not be extended to civilians but only to the civilian officials,” said minister in-charge of civil aviation.
However, the minister said that the State Government has again taken up the matter with Indian Ministry of Defence for continued authorisation of airlift sanction to AOC (Air Officer Commanding) J&K for carrying out such airlift operations for saving the precious lives of the people.
Kashmir Reader has learnt state’s liabilities towards IAF for providing such facility have been piling up for past several years. In 2015, sources said, the IAF had conveyed to the state government that it will provide the facility once past liabilities are cleared. Subsequently, the state government had released some amount to clear some part of the liabilities. The sources said that J&K is not the only state with huge liabilities towards IAF.