Thursday, 11 September 2014

Hundreds of stranded people driven to Leh then flown to Delhi

NEW DELHI: The opening of Srinagar-Leh road, while the highway to Delhi remains closed, is proving to be a lifeline for stranded people in the valley. The Leh access enabled airlifting of hundreds of stranded people -- including students— to Delhi on Thursday. The students are being flown in free of charge.

"Air India Thursday operated a special flight to Leh to evacuate stranded people as roads from Srinagar to Delhi are closed for traffic but are open to Leh. We operated a special flight to bring people who were able to reach Leh from Srinagar and take the air route out of Kashmir. The flight operated with an Airbus 319 aircraft and brought back a full compliment of 122 passengers including 44 National Institute Technology (NIT) student from Andhra Pradesh. This was in addition to the scheduled Delhi-Leh-Delhi flight," an Air India statement said.

GoAir brought 151 students of NIT free of charge to Delhi from Leh after they managed to reach the capital of Ladakh from Srinagar. "The flight G8-192 carrying these children left Leh at 8:55 am. It was co-ordinated by DGCA and the Leh District Administration. Students were carried free of any charge. The students expressed relief on reaching Delhi. They hoped to be reunited with their families soon," said a GoAir spokesman.

GoAir has temporarily implemented a waiver procedure for excess baggage to and from Jammu and Kashmir for those carrying relief material to support the local community. The budget carrier is offering free cargo services to various relief organisations working on the Kashmir situation.

Air India has so far carried 27 tons of relief material to Srinagar. "All evacuees and relief material have been carried by Air India totally free of cost and no money has been charged from any one for the carriage. Air India has always lived up to its obligation as a national carrier, in fulfilling the social responsibility during calamities and natural disasters," an AI official said.

SpiceJet has fixed special low fares on flights out of Srinagar. Flights to Delhi, Mumbai and Jammu will cost Rs 2,803, Rs 4,848 and Rs 1,948, respectively. Flights to Chandigarh, Bangalore and Ahmedabad will cost Rs 1,999, Rs 5,400 and Rs 4,707, respectively. "All relief supplies for Srinagar will be carried free of cost. We have already transported over 10 tons of relief material absolutely free of cost and are continuously supporting by transferring more and more relief material," said a SpiceJet statement.

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