The Operation Maitri conducted by the Indian Air Force and Indian Army has finally concluded. The search and rescue operations as well as helping in the relief efforts during the disastrous Nepal earthquake were all part of the Operation Maitri.
The Indian Air Force and the Army flew 2223 sorties, evacuated about 11,200 people (including 780 casualties) to safer locations and transported and air-dropped about 1700 tonnes of relief materials.
The Rapid Action Medical Teams extended 24×7 medical assistance to 4762 injured, including 300 surgeries, 216 hospital admissions and 4174 OPD cases. The first IAF aircraft was airborne within four hours of the earthquake that struck Nepal. One C-130J aircraft, two C-17, one IL-76, airlifting 295 NDRF personnel, 46.5 tonnes of load and five sniffer dogs were all put into the relief work during the initial phase.
Over a month, mammoth number of relief materials were airlifted including water, mobile hospitals, essentials like blankets, tents, paramedics, stretchers, medicines and life saving drugs, prepared food, milk, utensils, vegetables, Meals Ready to Eat (MRE), RO Plants, Oxygen Regenerators, Air Force Communication Centre Vehicles, Rapid Action Medical Team (RAMT) with its transportable Operation Theatre, X-ray, Laboratory and patient beds etc. The Rapid Action Medical Team conducted a number of emergency operations.
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. Large scale search and rescue operations, followed by relief work were carried out by Mi-17 V5 and Mi-17 helicopters from detachments at Pokhara and Kathmandu. Not only that, the IAF and the Indian Army worked together to reach out to the remote areas afected by the earthquake like Lukla, Dhading, Millanchi, Gorkha, Chautara, Charikot, Melum, Aroghat, Dhunche, Trishuli, Ramechhap, Barpak, Narayan Chor, Namchi Bazar and many others.
The earthquake also triggered an avalanche and many mountaineers were stuck near the Everest. These mountaineers were rescued by the Indian Army’s Everest Expedition team. According to reports, 18 dead bodies were recovered and medical aid was provided to the needy ones, and later evacuated by air.
The Engineer Task Force (ETF) of the Indian Army have cleared and constructed tracks in difficult and inaccessible areas to facilitate the relief work in Barpak, Gorkha and Kathmandu. The ETF cleared over 16 km of track, over 11477 cubic meters of debris, helped to re-construct 55 houses/shelters and recovered several bodies. The Army aviation pilots flew continuously to evacuate stranded and injured people, provided relief materials and inducted 567 Nepalese Army troops to reach inaccessible areas to carry out relief work. The Army provided 10,000 blankets, 1000 tents and 1000 tarpaulin/plastic sheets.
On April 25, Nepal experienced its worse earthquake which measured 7.9 on the Richter scale and led to the deaths of almost 8,000 people. The government of India has vowed to help Nepal in its reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts.