Nepal earthquake: Daring Dhruvs play savior role during rescue operations

By: OneIndia Defence Desk
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Bengaluru, May 1: The Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) Dhruvs, from the hangars of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) have once again proven their mettle as a mean machine during emergencies and hostile conditions.

HAL Chairman T Suvarna Raju told OneIndia that the Dhruvs have been flying round-the-clock after they were pressed into service by the Indian Army. [Nepal Earthquake 2015: Full Coverage]


"Once again Dhruvs are standing up to its reputation as a very effective flying machine during emergencies. Our Dhruvs so far have cumulatively completed close to 50 sorties clocking around 80 hours," Raju said.

He said the sturdy choppers have been used for movement of equipment, logistics and evacuating people from the earthquake affected areas.

"We are extremely happy to see how the Nepalese Army is using the Dhruvs for undertaking various missions. If you see the track record of Dhruvs in the last 10 years, they have played extremely critical role during all natural disasters in India," Raju added.

India had recently handed over a Dhruv to the Nepalese Army as well.

A company spokesperson said that the Dhruvs have stood apart from other rotor platforms during tsunami missions in Tamil Nadu (2004), the flash floods in Leh (2010), the earthquake in Sikkim (2011), the massive rains in Uttarakhand (2013) and the flash-floods in Jammu & Kashmir (2014).

Over 140 Dhruvs are currently in operation.

Army relief Convoy to reach Gorkha today

The Indian Army's medical teams, the Army Aviation helicopters and the Engineer Task Forces (ETF) have now reached the worst-hit areas of Nepal.

Army officials said that the Command and Control Centers at Kathmandu and Pokhara have been augmented by additional officers.

An Army Relief Convoy moving by road is likely to reach Gorkha today.

"Our helicopters have carried out casualty evacuation of 110 people and rescued 120 stranded people on April 29 alone. On the same day, 50 tonnes of relief material has been disbursed while another 15 tonnes the next day," a spokesperson said.

The Army has added one more Dhruv to operations in Pokhara. A total of five Dhruvs and two Cheetah helicopters are also on a standby at Gorakhpur.

Quick update on Army's operations

* Three Field Hospitals are in operation now in Nepal
* Operation theatre, lab, X-ray, triage centre and dental facilities activated
* Mobile medical teams located at Barpak, Rajdalgarh and seven more locations in Gorkha district
* 210 patients treated on April 30 and including 20 surgeries conducted
* Three ETFs inducted into Nepal.
* One aircraft is being sent with blankets, tarpaulins, tents and plastic sheets
* Another one to leave today (May 1) carrying more relief materials
* A vehicle convoy from Kanpur to reach Gorkha today with 4,950 blankets, 525 tents, 50 tarpaulin and 800 plastic sheets

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