On the same pattern as for the North East, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh will also receive supplies, including essential commodities and medical equipment, through special Air Cargo Flights, during the Lockdown period.
This was disclosed here today in a brief by Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh after he took up the issue with the Minister of State (IC) Civil Aviation, Hardip Singh Puri.
He said, under the instructions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the North Eastern States, Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh and also the Islands territories will be given highest priority for this purpose.
In order to accomplish a smooth and timely supply of essential items to these areas, the Indian Air Force and Air India will work in tandem to supplement and leverage each other’s strength.
Dr Jitendra Singh further informed that the Ministry of Civil Aviation has designated a Joint Secretary level officer, Usha Padhee as Nodal Officer, for exclusive coordination with the respective State and Union Territory governments.
He said he had suggested to the Union Territory governments of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh also to designate one Nodal Officer each to coordinate with the Nodal Officer designated by the Civil Aviation Ministry.
Meanwhile, the first Cargo flight by Air India landed at Guwahati late last night carrying all essential goods, including medical equipment, for distribution across North East. Thereafter today, a C-130 Super Hercules Aircraft of Indian Air Force landed at Dimapur with a consignment of medical equipment and disaster management equipment.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Indian Air Force will respond to the requests from Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh governments, as and when required, and the Air Cargo flight will be arranged accordingly, depending upon the nature and quantum of the consignment.
Dr Jitendra Singh also clarified that there is no dearth of ration and other essential goods in Jammu & Kashmir and assured that arrangements have been made for the replenishment of every essential commodity, well in advance before it gets exhausted.
While the road transport of essential goods was allowed inter-State movement from yesterday, now the Air cargo facility is also in place, he added.