Air Force help sought to evacuate 100 stranded Chadar trekkers

Air Force help sought to evacuate 100 stranded Chadar trekkers

(Left) Iqbal Park in Srinagar after a fresh spell of snow in the Kashmir valley. Tribune Photo: Amin War

Our Correspondent

Leh, January 13

Civil Aviation Ladakh Union Territory has sought the assistance of the Indian Air Force for evacuating more than 100 Chadar trekkers, who are stranded at a remote Nyraks village on the trek route for the last two days.

Trek suspended

  • The Leh administration has temporarily suspended the Chadar trek for two days (Jan 13 to 14) considering inclement weather and forecast of snow.

  • The decision of reopening the trek route for intending trekkers will only be taken after field assessment.

All stranded trekkers are residents of different parts of the country. Chadar trek is a winter trek in Ladakh, which is known as the most difficult trek in the country and people who love adventure come to Ladakh to trek on the frozen Zanskar River, a tributary of the Indus, in Ladakh, to experience the thrill in sub-zero temperature and test their endurance to cold by trekking and camping in caves.

The district administration had earlier rescued two groups of Chadar trekkers comprising 41 persons, who have been stuck between the two camps on the trekking routes of Tibb and Neyrak, due to the overflow of the water over the ice, and shifted temporarily at Nyraks village on Sunday.

However, an official from the district administration, Leh, said due to the overflow of water on ice at different points of Chadar trek , the number of stranded trekkers have now increased to 120 and are camping at Nyraks village safely. Ladakh Civil Aviation secretary Rigzian Sampheal wrote a letter to the Air Force Commanding Officer, Headquarter, AOC, Jammu and Kashmir, on Monday for the immediate evacuation of stranded trekkers through helicopter service.

A press statement issued by District Magistrate Sachin Kumar Vaishya on Sunday said all trekkers are safe and necessary arrangements have been made by the district administration for their safety and security with the help of villagers.

Surface transportation comes to a halt due to snow

Different parts of Ladakh received fresh spell of moderate to heavy snowfall on Monday, resulting in halting surface transportation between the Union Territory Headquarter, Leh, inter-district connectivity between Leh district and Kargil district and other sub-divisional headquarters and villages. Bus services plying from Leh to Kargil have been sent back half way from Khalsi to Leh due to heavy snowfall in Kargil district and private vehicles opted to stay away from plying on the highways. An official at the Police Control Room (PCR), Leh, which monitors traffic at the two mighty passes - Khardung La and Chang La - said both passes were closed for traffic following snowfall, which started on Monday afternoon. Khardung La is the gateway to Nubra subdivisional headquarters and Saichen Glacier, while Chang La connects Durbuk subdivision and Indo-China border areas. Due to heavy snowfall in Khaltsi subdivision and Photola pass, the Leh to Kargil national highway, Leh to Dah roads and Khaltsi inter subdivisional roads have been blocked since Monday morning. Leh Deputy Commissioner Sachin Kumar Vaishya on receiving intimations from GREF, Border Roads Organisation, about heavy snowfall in Khalsi subdivision, has alerted the public that all these roads would be closed for traffic on Tuesday as well. Meanwhile, the Meteorological Department, Srinagar, that issued red alert (heavy to very heavy snowfall) has predicted that there would be a significant decrease in precipitation from Monday night and overall improvement will start from January 14. In IMD weekly forecast, however, it will resume with another spell of snowfall.

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