IAF airlifts 313 stranded passengers between Leh and Srinagar

Over 300 stranded passengers were Tuesday airlifted between Leh town of Ladakh region and Srinagar by special Indian Air Force (IAF) sorties arranged by the Jammu and Kashmir government, officials said.

Amir Ali, officer on special duty at the provincial headquarters, told IANS that 313 stranded passengers of Kargil were airlifted by an IL-76 cargo aircraft of the IAF.

"(A total of) 171 of these were flown to Srinagar from Leh while 142 were flown from Srinagar to Leh town," Ali said.

The state government had Monday announced that special IAF sorties would be arranged for stranded passengers of Kargil town which remains cut off due to heavy snowfall on the Zojilla Pass that connects the cold desert Ladakh region of the state with the Valley.

Because of continued blockade of the Srinagar-Jammu highway due to heavy snowfall last month, the authorities had arranged special IAF sorties between Jammu and Srinagar for people stranded in either cities.

Besides, patients and stranded passengers are also being airlifted by the state government from snowbound areas of Gurez, Tangdhar and Doda during the winter months when the road connectivity of these areas gets snapped.

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