Air Marshal RD Mathur, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, IAF Eastern Air Command, today called on Chief Minister Pema Khandu here this morning.
Expressing gratitude to the Arunachal Pradesh government for support and assistance extended to the IAF in search and rescue operations after the unfortunate crash of an AN-32 aircraft in the hills of Shi-Yomi district, the AoC said only with active support and cooperation of the state government through its district administrations and local people the daunting task could be completed.
He said unfortunately airlifting of the rescuers, which included local mountaineer Taka Tamut, was delayed due to inclement weather and they had to camp in the mountains for almost 11 days. The Air Marshal however informed that enough ration was airdropped for the rescue team to survive another 15 days.
As an expression of gratitude, Mathur said that IAF would suitably honour the local persons who helped the force in the mission.
Khandu offered condolences to the departed personnel aboard the ill-fated aircraft and assured cooperation and support to the armed forces when in need. He also assured that local mountaineer Taka Tamut would be suitably honoured by the state government too.
Air Marshal Mathur and the Chief Minister also discussed various issues particularly on acquisition of land by IAF for defense purposes.
Acquisition of land for firing range in East Kameng district and for strategic installations in Shi-Yomi and Tawang districts were discussed in detail. The IAF also offered to construct high-rise boundary wall around the firing range at Dollungmukh so that splinters do not go out and animals or people do not come in.
The Chief Minister requested the IAF to take the local administration into confidence and alert in advance with regard to firing exercises by IAF at Dollungmukh.
The meeting was also attended by Chief Secretary Satya Gopal and Secretary to CM Sonam Chombay.