IAF sorties between Srinagar and Jammu begin (Lead)

January 21st, 2012 - 4:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Jan 21 (IANS) The Indian Air Force (IAF) began flying sorties between Srinagar and Jammu with two flights leaving Srinagar airport Saturday afternoon carrying passengers stranded here due to blockading of the highway following heavy snowfall in Kashmir.

“Around 250 passengers were airlifted in IAF aircraft from Srinagar to Jammu Saturday in the two sorties. The aircraft will bring back stranded passengers from Jammu to Srinagar on their return journey. We will continue the IAF special sorties Saturday as long as the weather permits. I am personally supervising the evacuation of stranded passengers,” Asghar Hussain Samoon, Kashmir divisional commissioner, told IANS here.

Reports said around 2,000 passengers have registered themselves for being airlifted through these special sorties from Srinagar to Jammu.

Authorities are giving priority to tourists in sorties from Srinagar to Jammu and to locals from Jammu to Srinagar.

The state government made special arrangements with the IAF Saturday in view of the continued blockade of the Srinagar-Jammu highway because of heavy snowfall in Banihal and Patnitop sectors of the road.

Although the Border Roads Organization (BRO) is restoring the highway for two-way traffic, local traffic department authorities said only stranded vehicles would be allowed to move on the highway towards Srinagar today.

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