A private chopper was today put into operation by authorities in Kedarnath to transport oversized cargo to the shrine in a bid to give momentum to ongoing reconstruction work around the famous temple which bore the brunt of the 2013 floods.
"Also known as air load induction process, it will help transport oversized cargo, equipment, construction materials and machinery to areas where they are needed and give speed to reconstruction work in the area," Rudraprayag District Magistrate Raghav Langer, who is also the chairman of the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), said.
Devbhoomi Aviation Company entrusted by DDMA Rudraprayag with the task of load induction is using its B-3 helicopter for air lifting under slung loads by carrying it beneath the helicopter suspended through lifting strops and cargo net, Langer said.
Under slung load operations require extreme precision and expertise and well trained pilots, crew and ground staff, he said.
Trainings and simulations were conducted by a foreign pilot and experts in Dehradun's Shastradhara helidrome after which the DGCA gave the approval for under slung operation to start in Kedarnath region, he said.
External lifting of loads is common in foreign countries and in the defense sector, but under slung load lift being carried out by a commercial B-3 helicopter with loads upto 600 kgs at an altitude of 11,600feet in an environment of changing wind speeds and air pressure, is a rare feet, he said.
This will speed up ongoing reconstruction works and save the lengthy process of manual transportation of heavy loads along the 16 km long trek route between Gaurikund to Kedarnath, the District Magstrate said adding air induction is both time and cost-effective.
The portals of Kedarnath closed on November 13 this year.
Important projects to be completed this winter season include creation of 120 pre-engineered pilgrim cottages, three tier flood protection works behind the temple, construction of 'teerth putohits' buildings, construction of ghat and other amenities at the confluence of Saraswati & Mandakini rivers, construction of additional cottages and SDRF facility at Kedarnath base camp and Lincholi area, the DM said.