Jammu: As many as 234 stranded passengers were airlifted by the Indian Air Force (IAF) from Udhampur district to Leh in Ladakh region, a defense spokesman said today.
Ladakh region remains cut-off for over five months annually owing to heavy snowfall in Zojila pass area, along 434-km Srinagar-Leh National Highway, the only road linking the frontier region with rest of the state, the spokesperson said.
The IAF operated its special aircraft IL-76 popularly called as ‘Gajraj’ to airlift the stranded passengers on requisition by the state government, the spokesman said.
He said that a lot of civilians were left stranded in Jammu region due to recent snow and inclement weather in the Leh Kargil sector.
This is the second operation undertaken by the IAF in the past nine days. On February 19, the IAF had airlifted around 233 passengers from Udhampur to Ladakh.
Air Force Station Udhampur was the staging base for this rescue activity, the spokesman said. He said that special arrangements were made by Air Force Station Udhampur for the security and marshalling of the passengers.
The local administration had been in constant liaison with the ATC Air Force Station Udhampur and their officials for arrival and departure details of the IL-76, so that no inconvenience is caused to the passengers and rescheduling or re-programming, if any, is expeditiously passed on to the passengers to avoid any inconvenience, the spokesman said. PTI