The search for the missing pilot of an Army helicopter that crashed into Punjab’s Ranjit Sagar dam on August 3 is in full swing, the Army has said, adding that it ”is fully committed” to “retrieving the second crew member of the ill fated helicopter”.
The Army has also said it ”empathises with the grief of relatives of the crew”.
The remains of one of the pilots on board, Lieutenant Colonel A S Batth, was recovered from the reservoir on August 15.
Neel Joshi, brother of the missing pilot Captain Jayant Joshi, told NDTV yesterday that the family is disappointed with the equipment being used in the search operation.
“We are very satisfied as to the human effort. However, in terms of the equipment that is being used, we were assured that there would be a more cohesive and more expeditious action on extraction of the remains or the helicopter. But neither of these things have happened,” he said.
“We were assured that international support will be sought in case the present equipment that is available proves ineffective. The equipment has proved ineffective, it is now 20 days,” he said.
In a statement issued by Defence PRO Lieutenant Colonel Devender Anand, the Army has said the force is “employing the best of the equipment available in the country to locate the wreckage”.
It also said Special Forces Commandos along with Marcos of the Navy are carrying out continuous diving in the areas.
The Army said several agencies like the NDRF, civilian experts and dam authorities have also been involved.
The search operations are being spearheaded by a Commodore-rank officer who is an expert in naval rescue operations along with the Indian Army Brigadier having expertise in civil engineering aspects, the Army said.
“The Indian Army is fully committed for retrieving the second crew member of the ill fated helicopter. The Indian Army empathises with the grief of relatives of the crew of the ill fated Helicopter,” it added.