With an aim to keep the border and remote areas of Kargil district in the Union Territory of Ladakh connected with the country through an air route for twelve months, especially when the region is covered with a thick blanket of snow, the administration has planned to introduce a chopper service.
However, as part of this exercise a successful trial of landing of private company’s helicopter Mi-172 was held at Silmu village of Kargil and once set into motion, people of entire region will be able to travel to other places in case of emergency even when these areas are cut off from the road due to heavy snowfall.
However, the locals have expressed gratitude to the administration for this initiative of welfare.
The trial landing took place amidst the presence of CEO of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Firoz Khan, Assistant Commissioner Revenue, Abdul Ghaffar Zargar, Kacho Mahmood Ali and crew members of the aviation service provider.
Locals stated that the helicopter service was very important for Silmu especially when this area was completely cut off from the other population due to snowfall, the people of the area especially the patients had suffered a lot.
“This village is located a few kilometers away from the border and connectivity was one of the major issues,” said an official.
He said that Helicopters have already successfully landed at five places in Kargil district at Drass, Hinaskote, Namkila-Wakha and Kargil Civil Helipad, adding, “the landing trials will also be held in Tangol, Rangdam, Pandu-Zanskar, Lungnak, Karayak and Minamarg in the coming days and the service will soon be made available to the people.”
The government in 2019 under regional connectivity scheme UDAN planned to increase connectivity to remote areas in erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir (including Ladakh).
UDAN is a regional airport development and Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) of the government with the objective of letting the common citizen of the country fly, aimed at making air travel affordable and widespread, to boost inclusive national economic development, job growth and air transport infrastructure development of all regions and states.