Monday, December 18, 2017

Himachal Pradesh starts emergency chopper service to Lahaul

Manali: As the high peaks surrounding Lahaul have received very heavy snow, trapping thousands of residents of the valley, Himachal Pradesh government on Sunday started emergency chopper service to ferry them between Lahaul and Kullu.
On the first day of the winter flight service, three sorties were operated from Kullu to snow-bound Lahaul. Two sorties were operated from Kullu to Tandi helipad and one from Kullu to Udaipur helipad. A total of 46 adults and six children flew from Kullu to Lahaul while 56 passengers, including one patient, came from Lahaul to Kullu.
Liaison officer at Kullu airport Ashok Kumar said the three sorties had been successful on Sunday. "The weather was favourable for flights. The sorties will continue throughout the winter. The chopper returned on Sunday and the next sorties will be conducted as per direction from general administration department (GAD)," he stated.
The emergency winter chopper service will be operated to Lahaul until the Manali-Keylong highway opens in April or May next year. The sorties will also be operated to Pangi and Spiti in case of emergency in winter. Nearly 25% of the residents of Lahaul migrate to Kullu before closing of the roads leading to Lahaul. Residents of Lahaul and hundreds of employees of the snow-bound valley have only chopper service to stay connected with other parts of the country.
18/12/17 Times of India