IAF to provide air support to Amarnath pilgrims

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New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) The Indian Air Force (IAF) has started carrying pilgrims between Uttarakahnd’s Pithoragarh and Gunji to enable them to complete their journey to Kailash Mansarovar Yatra with ease, an defence statement said.

It said that after the External Affairs Ministry approached the Defence Ministry for air effort between the places enroute the yatra where the connectivity was envisaged to be poor, the IAF has deployed three medium lift helicopters at Pithoragarh which would be carrying approximately 60-80 passengers per day.

“For three months, starting June 18, the Indian Air Force would create an airbridge between Pithoragarh and Gunji, in an effort to airlift 1,080 registered passengers to Gunji to enable them to continue their journey for the coveted annual Kailash Mansarovar Yatra,” the statement said.

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It said the helicopters from the Kirpan and Nubra Warrior units of the IAF would be deployed for about three months catering for the return journey as well and would fly about 300 hours.

The release said the command had been chosen for this task due to the experience of its helicopter pilots in flying in mountainous terrain and landing at high altitudes.

–IANS

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