Monday, May 9, 2011

Six out of seven helicopters for anti-Naxal ops unavailable

From The Indian Express
Sun May 08 2011,Raipur
Only one helicopter is catering to over 70,000 central police troops deployed for anti-naxal operations as six other choppers – emergency lifelines during casualty evacuation and reinforcements-- are out of service for various reasons for almost two months.
Government has deployed a fleet of seven helicopters-- four of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and three Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) 'Dhruvs' of the BSF-- for use by 72 battalions of the CRPF, BSF, ITBP and local police units of the states. They have their bases at Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and Ranchi (Jharkhand).
The choppers are the most vital machine when it comes to troop deployment, casualty evacuation and sending reinforcements to assist anti-Naxal operations.
Top sources in the air wing said that while two 'Dhruvs' are gathering dust at the Raipur airbase for the last two months as their spare parts are not available, the third is with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) as it has clocked 500 flying hours after which it needs servicing.

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