IAF helicopters aid repair of key Kashmir power line

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 24, 2013 18:10 hrs

New Delhi, Jan 24 (IANS) Indian Air Force helicopters aided Power Grid Corporation of India repair high tension lines, at about 10,000 feet above sea level, in heavily snowbound Banihal area of Jammu and Kashmir, an official press release said Thursday.

It said that there was partial power failure in Srinagar and adjoining areas caused by high tension lines at Banihal Pass getting buried under snow.

The release said a request was received for assistance from the Power Grid Corp and the IAF tasked the Cheetah helicopter unit at Udhampur with the task to airlift a seven member repair team to Banihal top to carry out repairs on the 300 MW power line.

"The mission involved a high degree of risk as the helicopter was required to operate close to high tension cables at about 10,000 feet near Banihal pass, an area known for high turbulence and strong winds. A recce was carried out on Jan 22 to assess the slope, gradient and depth of snow and a suitable landing site selected," the press release said.

It said Wing Commander N. Batra along with Squardon Leader Milind got airborne at first light Jan 23 and dropped seven people to carry out repairs at the selected site in four shuttles and returned to Udhampur for refueling.

It said the seven men repair team was later brought back to Udhampur under difficult weather conditions.

"Inspite of lack of visual references, sub-zero temperatures and adverse wind conditions, the whole operation was accomplished with precise accuracy," the release added.

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