Air Commodore Rajesh Isser was the overall head of Operation Rahat, the largest heliborne evacuation and rescue operation in the history of the world. Talk to the man about how the IAF and its flyboys went about the mammoth task and the challenges they faced on the way. Air Commodore Rajesh Isser joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on Operation Rahat and relief and rescue in Uttarakhand.
Q. Dear Sir, did the armed forces receive sufficient volunteers from Civilians? Who all came forward and participated? Thanks Asked by: Abhinav
A. Yes, we got many volunteers. There were students as well who helped people.
Q. Hello Sir, Hats off to the IAF for carrying out a fabulous relief operations in Uttarakhand. How is the damage in Kedarnath. How much time will take to get back to normal life there. Asked by: Sukumar
A. Damage is huge from Kedarnath to Gaurikund. It will take couple of yrs.
Q. Which one was the riskiest job undertaken? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. The rescue at Jungle chatti.
Q. Was there any para jumping done in not reachable areas to look out for trapped people? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. Para jumping is not possible there but army winched down people from that area.
Q. Air Commodore, you feel that civilians should also play a vital role as well like taking volunteers like a Civil Defense to help those in needs especially in natural disasters? Asked by: Nigel
A. Absolutely, lot of people have played a very vital part.
Q. Greeting Air Commodore. Sir should there be a restriction order preventing politicians from hampering with rescue operation. As politicians are trying to act like heroes, should the armed forces specially the Army and Air Force should issue a restriction orders preventing politicians. Asked by: Nigel
A. Not required, politicians do not obstruct the relief ops. We have not find any probs. They are decision makers.
Q. Sir, How long you see it would take to rebuild the damage done?And What additional measures you suggest should be taken while rebuilding so as to stand any kind of natural disaster in future? Asked by: Avi
A. I think with the help of computer civil aviation, we need to define vulnerable areas. Better warning signals needed.
Q. The Army, Air force, NDMA, NDRF, state machinery were all in the relief work as an assignment of official nature. Did you get volunteers or Voluntary bodies to associate in helping you? How effective was their role? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. Like I said, in core duty they were not required but there were relief camps on the way which helped people a lot.
Q. An interaction with such large number of civilians, who are your own country men must be a different and unique one which no other force would have had globally. Has there been a similar situation earlier anywhere in the globe due to war or calamity? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. Helicopters rescue for civilians is far the biggest. It was a great feeling when people said they owe their life to us.
Q. How about help from government, how do you see the over reaction of the political parties? Asked by: Santhosh
A. I feel it was an overwhelming situation. Now administration will take over. We hope the rebuilding will start. Government has done well.
Q. One chopper crashed taking lives of twenty. Was the accident due to fatigue of man or machine? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. Court of inquiry will establish that. I'm sure fatigue of man is not responsible, can't say about machine.
Q. Great job sir, no words are enough for the efforts put by you people. Yes, you lost your colleagues but that did not deter you. Asked by: S ESHWAR
A. Yes, our biggest salutes to them.
Q. What you think about political blame-game over Uttarakhand rescue operations? Our politicians need to learn a lesson of being united at the time of such a calamity? It is shame to see politicians playing symbolic politics over a crisis and fighting with each other to get credit. Asked by: vinod
A. This is a political ques, we are servants of people and govt. I'm afraid can't comment any further on this.
Q. Rahat - Yes a great relief to the senior citizens and tourists trapped in the disaster. Your team deserves Kudos. Did this give a chance to test your crafts to it's full potential? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. Yes, it did. We have come out with flying colours. Young pilots have proved their metal. They have done extremely well.
Q. Has this experience brought out the Strength and weakness of the force. Will their be a learning experience to be better off in case of a future war or a disaster management situation? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. Absolutely, every experience we make sure we learn. Every experience make us better for war and peace.
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