NEW DELHI: 'Operation Maitri', the massive rescue and relief operation initiated by India in Nepal following the April 25 earthquake, came to an end today.
Indian Air Force's C-17 Globemaster-III arrived at Palam airport carrying the last of Indian contingents of the operation from Nepal, a defence ministry spokesperson said.
After a 7.9 earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, India rushed with food and rescue to help the calamity-struck country by launching 'Operation Maitri' which saw Indian armed forces rescuing thousands in the Himalayan country.
The mammoth Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) task was carried out by IAF and Army from April 25 to June 4.
Within four hours of the earthquake that struck Nepal, IAF swung into action and routed one C-130J aircraft, two C-17 and one IL-76, airlifting 295 NDRF personnel, 46.5 tonnes of load and five sniffer dogs.
Lots of relief material were airlifted for over a month.
This included water, field hospitals, blankets, tents, paramedics, stretchers, medicines, prepared food, milk, utensils, vegetables, Meals Ready to Eat (MRE), RO plants, oxygen regenerators, Air Force Communication Centre Vehicles, Rapid Action Medical Teams with its transportable operation theatre, X-ray, laboratory and patient beds among others.
IAF aircraft that took part in the operation included heavy lifters C-130J Super Hercules, C-17 Globemaster III, IL-76 Gajraj and medium lifter An-32.
Besides these aircraft, 8 Medium Lift Helicopters, including Mi-17 V5 and Mi-17, were used during the operation.
Large scale relief and rescue operations were carried out by Mi-17 V5 and Mi-17 helicopters from detachments at Pokhara and Kathmandu.
These operations were carried out in far-flung inaccessible areas such as Lukla, Dhading, Millanchi, Gorkha, Chautara, Charikot, Melum, Aroghat, Dhunche, Ramechhap, Barpak, Narayan Chor, Namchi Bazar, Tatopani and Lamabagar.
During the relief and rescue operations, a total of 1,677 sorties by various aircraft, including 1,569 by IAF helicopters, were made carrying 1348.995 tonnes of load and evacuating 5188 persons and 780 casualties.