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No trace of missing chopper, operation to continue today

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  6 Aug 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Our Correspondent

Itagar, Aug 5: The search and rescue operation for the missing Pawan Hans chopper failed to yield any result on the second day today, even as a Sukhoi plane of the Indian Air Force from Bareilly conducted an hour-long recce to collect photographs through Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) equipments.

Inclement weather deterred two IAF choppers from undertaking search operation, while 13 columns of Army coordited from Khonsa, along with state police, Assam Rifles, officials from the district administration, panchayat members and villagers were involved in search operation, Chief Secretary Ramesh Negi informed during a press conference here today.

The operation will resume early morning tomorrow, the chief secretary said adding six choppers would be pressed into service depending on the weather condition.

"The technology adopted by the Sukhoi to take photographs will help the search parties to zero down the area and search operation could be rrowed down to a particular area. The areas where the recce were conducted included Dadam, Thinsa Kheti, Pongkhong Sanglem, Muktowa and Changlang-Khonsa road," Negi disclosed adding, the Shillong-based Eastern Air Command has informed the State government that it would take almost four hours to alyze the pictures.

"We are hoping for the report in time so that the search operation could be continued tomorrow," he said.

The Dauphin chopper of state-run Pawan Hans went missing with Tirap DC Kamlesh Kumar Joshi and two pilots mely Captain M S Brar and Captain Rajeev Hoskote, after take-off from Khonsa in Tirap district at around 10.45 AM while on its way to Longding.

Meanwhile, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered a prelimiry inquiry into the incident while the Pawan Hans authorities deputed teams from New Delhi and Guwahati and ordered an interl inquiry, Negi informed.

When asked whether the State government would think again to continue with the service of the Pawan Hans, Negi said that the issue would be discussed after getting the prelimiry report of the DGCA.

"Pawan Hans is a subsidized service from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and it will be discussed with the ministry and the Ministry of Civil Aviation before coming to a conclusion," he said and added that the State government had already taken up with the Civil Aviation Ministry for installation of advanced ground landing system in the State.

"The government will take extra precaution on flights safety. We have to expand the service keeping in view the safety aspects," he said.

Replying to a question, Negi informed that family members of Joshi would arrive in the State within a day.

"We have asked the Resident Commissioner offices at Delhi and Kolkata to provide all logistics to the family members during their visit," the chief secretary added.

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