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Ladakh

Bookings for Kargil air courier service to go online; to start after Srinagar-Leh highway closes

Online booking, check-in and issuing of boarding passes have been introduced for a critical air courier service that serves the people of Kargil once the strategic 434-km Srinagar-Leh national highway closes in winter months, officials said on Saturday.

The subsidised AN-32 Kargil Courier Air Service, provided by the Indian Air Force, operates under a special arrangement when the highway is shut for five months during winters due to heavy snowfall.

Ladakh Civil Aviation Secretary Saugat Biswas chaired a high-level meeting here on Friday to ensure adequate arrangements be put in place for smooth operations of the air service, an official spokesman said.

Biswas said there would be a significant departure from past practices as several operations will now be handled digitally.

These include booking systems, check-ins, issuance of boarding passes, cancellations, re-allotment of seats, payments and refunds, he said, adding that a robust portal has been put in place by the administration for the purpose.

Chief Coordinator of the AN-32 service, Aamir Ali, gave a briefing on the preparedness at the Jammu and the Srinagar airports for the smooth operations of the service, the spokesman said.

Representatives from the Leh Air Force Station and the Udhampur Air Command highlighted the issues and concerns of the air force during the meeting, he said.

The issues were discussed with the directors of the respective airports for plugging gaps, the spokesman said.

Biswas asked the Kargil deputy commissioner for quick appointment of liaison officers and assistant nodal officers in Jammu, Srinagar and Kargil for coordination.

THE SPOKESMAN SAID THAT the CISF had assured security arrangements, standard operating procedures, and issuing security cards and free passage to the officers concerned.

Representatives of divisional commissioner Kashmir and Jammu assured that facilities for Covid testing would be provided according to guidelines, he said.

Ladakh

Ladakh gets first open synthetic track and football turf

Ladakh sportspersons are upbeat as the union territory has got its first open synthetic track and football turf for football stadium under Khelo India Programme. Built at an estimated cost of Rs 10.68 crore, the size of the track and football turf has been constructed on 130 kanals in the Spituk belt of the ‘cold desert’.

“I’m a coach for marathon runners here. Before this, we had to run on roads. Now, we’re witnessing improvement because we can now measure distance & speed easily.

Then Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday laid the foundation stones of the synthetic track and astroturf for football in September 2020.

Taking to the microblogging site, Rijiju, who currently holds the portfolio of Minister of Law and Justice, wrote, ” Very satisfying to see the completion of sports projects in Ladakh in less than just two years despite the pandemic! PM Modi gave a clear direction to execute all the projects on time. These are funded under the Khelo India Scheme”.

Last week, Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur took to Twitter to share the picture of the football stadium and wrote, “This is NEW INDIA–Funded as part of Khelo India sports infrastructure; Open Stadium at Spituk, Leh, and Height 11,000 feet approx”.

 

Read More: J&K first to release Good Governance Index in the country

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Jammu

MHA classifies J&K, Ladakh UTs as ‘hard areas’ in joint AGMUT cadre

The Government of India has classified Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh Union Territories as “hard areas” in the joint AGMUT cadre.

As per the news agency, the Ministry of Home Affairs in a communique has informed all states and UTs- part of the AGMUT cadre- that J&K and Ladakh UTs have been categorized as hard areas in the joint AGMUT cadre.

“Consequent upon the merger of J&K cadre in AGMUT cadre, the matter has been examined, and with the approval of the competent authority, it has been decided that Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh may be considered as hard areas in joint AGMUT cadre,” reads the letter.

As per guidelines governing transfer and postings of AGMUT cadre, IAS, IPS and IFS officers, the states and UTs are classified into categories- regular areas and hard areas.

Delhi, Chandigarh, Goa, Pudducherry, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu are regular areas. At the same time, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been classified as hard areas.

It is worth mentioning that J&K had its separate cadre for IAS, IPS, and IFS before abrogating Article 370. However, in January 2020, the Centre promulgated an ordinance to merge the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) cadre of All India Services officers such as the IAS, IPS and the Indian Forest Service (IFoS) with the Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre.

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Ladakh

Ladakh admin sets up facility for online tickets for Kargil air service

In a first, the Ladakh administration has set up the online booking of tickets for air services run by the Indian Air Force in the Union territory, officials said on Wednesday.

The administration flagged off the operation of subsidised helicopter service from Ladakh. The service will cater to passengers from far-flung areas of Ladakh on approved routes from Leh-Lingshed, Dibling, Drass, Padum, Kargil, Nubra, Nerak, Jammu, Srinagar, they said.

“This year, for the first time, tickets of AN-32 Kargil courier service have been made available online,” a senior said.

This facility has been introduced for the convenience of the passengers so that they can book their tickets, from the comfort of their homes, keeping in view the Covid situation, he said.

The passengers can log on to the website http://heliservice.ladakh.gov.in/airforce-plane-booking The first flight has been planned on Thursday for the sector Kargil-Jammu-Kargil, subject to fair weather, officials said.

Initially, on a trial basis, booking is available for January 20, and subsequently, the other flights will also be available, they said.

The land of high passes, Ladakh is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and culture. It is the highest plateau of the subcontinent and is famous for its scenic beauty.

“You will face the cold desert climate, especially from October-March. In winters, temperatures are extreme in Leh, dipping below freezing point. It remains closed for more than seven months,” officials said.

During winters, roads in the entire region remain cut off from the rest of the country. Winters in Ladakh are very harsh and temperatures can plummet to -30 degrees Celsius at night, they said.

Our aim is to meet air connectivity requirements to promote tourism for economic development and employment generation, rescue and medical evacuation purposes, they added.

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29 Jan 2022, 9:34 AM (GMT)

Coronavirus Stats

40,858,241 Total Cases
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