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Dedicated IAF copters for flood relief in State

By R Dutta Choudhury
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GUWAHATI, July 2 - The Indian Air Force (IAF) has assured the Assam Government that it would keep at least two helicopters ready at its stations in Borjhar and Kumbhirgram (Silchar) for launching rescue and relief operations during high floods. The helicopters will also be used for food dropping if required among the marooned people.

Official sources told The Assam Tribune that the State Government already had discussions with the officials of the IAF and they had assured that the choppers would be kept ready to take off at a short notice. �The choppers will be kept ready to fly off within half an hour�s notice and they can reach any part of the State within an hour,� sources pointed out. However, there is possibility of the weather condition affecting the rescue operations by choppers and such an incident took place while sending a chopper to South Salmara area last year as one chopper had to turn back because of bad weather, sources added.

Last year also the choppers of the IAF carried out rescue and relief operations in several parts of the State including parts of Morigaon , Dhubri and South Salmara and personnel of the IAF not only rescued marooned people but also dropped food packets among the affected people.

Sources revealed that immediately after receiving request from the State Government, the IAF choppers would rush to the concerned district headquarters and fly to the affected areas along with a local officer, who would act as a guide. Local officers will be in the best position to know about the affected areas and that is why, the IAF choppers normally pick up a local officer from the district headquarters before going to the affected areas, sources pointed out.

Sources pointed out that dropping of food stuff among the marooned people is also an important aspect during high floods as sometimes it is impossible to reach out to the affected people with boats or by roads. In such cases, a decision has been taken to use the choppers of the IAF for food dropping and normally dry food items are packed in polythene sheets and dropped among the affected people. "We normally try to drop dry food packets, each containing about five kilograms of materials as the people marooned in floods normally do not have any means to cook. The packets have to be properly wrapped in polythene sheets as sometimes there is a risk of those falling into water. However, in some cases, where the people have the means to cook, rice, dal and other such items are also airdropped," sources added.

The choppers will also be used for aerial survey of the affected areas to know the extent of the damages caused by floods. But sources asserted that the choppers to be kept ready for relief and rescue operations would not be used for the visits of the VIPs and separate arrangements would be made if required.

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Dedicated IAF copters for flood relief in State

GUWAHATI, July 2 - The Indian Air Force (IAF) has assured the Assam Government that it would keep at least two helicopters ready at its stations in Borjhar and Kumbhirgram (Silchar) for launching rescue and relief operations during high floods. The helicopters will also be used for food dropping if required among the marooned people.

Official sources told The Assam Tribune that the State Government already had discussions with the officials of the IAF and they had assured that the choppers would be kept ready to take off at a short notice. �The choppers will be kept ready to fly off within half an hour�s notice and they can reach any part of the State within an hour,� sources pointed out. However, there is possibility of the weather condition affecting the rescue operations by choppers and such an incident took place while sending a chopper to South Salmara area last year as one chopper had to turn back because of bad weather, sources added.

Last year also the choppers of the IAF carried out rescue and relief operations in several parts of the State including parts of Morigaon , Dhubri and South Salmara and personnel of the IAF not only rescued marooned people but also dropped food packets among the affected people.

Sources revealed that immediately after receiving request from the State Government, the IAF choppers would rush to the concerned district headquarters and fly to the affected areas along with a local officer, who would act as a guide. Local officers will be in the best position to know about the affected areas and that is why, the IAF choppers normally pick up a local officer from the district headquarters before going to the affected areas, sources pointed out.

Sources pointed out that dropping of food stuff among the marooned people is also an important aspect during high floods as sometimes it is impossible to reach out to the affected people with boats or by roads. In such cases, a decision has been taken to use the choppers of the IAF for food dropping and normally dry food items are packed in polythene sheets and dropped among the affected people. "We normally try to drop dry food packets, each containing about five kilograms of materials as the people marooned in floods normally do not have any means to cook. The packets have to be properly wrapped in polythene sheets as sometimes there is a risk of those falling into water. However, in some cases, where the people have the means to cook, rice, dal and other such items are also airdropped," sources added.

The choppers will also be used for aerial survey of the affected areas to know the extent of the damages caused by floods. But sources asserted that the choppers to be kept ready for relief and rescue operations would not be used for the visits of the VIPs and separate arrangements would be made if required.