Helicopter services provided to 130 snowbound people in HP


As many as 130 people including 5 patients and 11 children were provided helicopter services by State General Administration Department today to snowbound Lahaul & Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, official sources confirmed.

Liaison officer of State General Administration Department (GAD) Dr. Ranjeet Singh told that three sorties successfully took place to the tribal areas of Lahaul vallley today, otherwise four sorties had been scheduled for Sissoo, Tandi, Barring Rawa and Zyaspa helipad.

He said that 69 snowbound people were airlifted to Bhuntar in the state, the  helicopter having capacity of carrying 20 people on the board including 11 children and 5 patients.

He said that during the flights to these helipads 61 people were also carried to snowbound areas from Bhuntar airport. Mr. Singh said that 23 snowbound people including 3 patients and 4 children were evacuated from Sisoo helipad to Bhuntar and 20 others from Bhuntar to Sisoo.

Similarly, 22 from Tandi and Diet helipads to Bhuntar including 4 children 2 patients and 21 others from Bhuntar to Tandi and Diet.

As many as 24 people including three children from Zyspa to Bhuntar and 20 others from Bhuntar to Zyspa helipad.

Showing regret to not able to carry out flights between Bhunar to Rawa-Barring before dusk today, he informed that GAD had scheduled a helicopter flights for Rawa Barring tomorrow.

He also said that department would conduct a sortie to Bhunar to Killar on January 26 as it had scheduled chopper sortie between Bhuntar-Sach, Sach to Chamba and Chamba to Sach and Sach to Bhuntar.

He said that department had got booking to air-left as many as 419 people to snowbound and 500 others likely want to evacuate from snowbound Lahaul & Spiti and Chamba district.

State government provided emergency helicopter services on subsidized rate including to local people, patients and state government employees to air-left them to snowbound areas of Lahaul & Spiti and Chamba every year after Rohtang Pass became snowbound during 5 months in the winters.

Dr. Ranjeet informed that GAD charges Rs. 1500 for single trip from general public Rs. 850 for patients and Rs. 750 for children. The employees of private power projects availing this services as they and others are being charged Rs. 7000 for single trip.

Due to delay in the starting of emergency services local people are not happy with the state government as they were facing number of problems as helicopter being used was not made available on time to affected people.

Negligence in providing emergency services is costing the life of people in the tribal districts as one person succumbed recently as he could not be airlifted to require expert medical care at IGMC.

GAD was also taking help of Indian armed forces to provide chopper when state line helicopter remained busy for Chief Minister and other government tours in the state.

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