Srinagar: Governor Satya Pal Malik has appreciated the role being played by the Mountain Rescue Teams (MRTs) while facilitating Yatris enroute the holy amaranth cave. He mentioned that MRTs face life threatening challenges in the snow bound & high altitude tracks of the mighty Himalayas & save many lives. Before the Yatra starts they establish their camps in the most difficult terrain on the Yatra route. These teams often work in 8-10 ft snow and face extreme weather conditions like strong Ultra violet rays, snowfall and threat of wildlife. However despite these difficult circumstances, the team’s real satisfaction lies in saving lives.
The MRTs were first deployed during annual amaranth yatra by Jammu & Kashmir Police. Since then each year MRTs are deployed by J&K police along with teams from NDRF, SDRF & CRPF. Due to their crucial role in saving lives, the number of MRTs deployed have been increased every year. In Yatra 2019, 31 MRTs have been deployed as compared to 25 MRTs during 2018, along the tracks leading to the Holy Cave on both Baltal and Pahlagam axis. In addition the number of personnel in each MRT have been increased.
1200 Jawans of J&K Police are trained in mountain rescue operations in rocky and snow bound terrain and out of these 140-150 are short listed for yatra duty every year based upon their physical and mental fitness. A refresher course for MRTs on rescue operations, Basic Life Support Systems (BLS), Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) & other first aid techniques is organised by Govt. before their deployment.
This year 4 MRTs against 2 during 2018 have been deployed at MG Pass which are facilitating the yatris in crossing this most difficult stretch at an altitude of 14,000 feet. One additional team is deployed between Railpathri and Brarimarg.
The 31 MRTs of JKP, NDRF, SDRF & CRPF cover the entire yatra track. Each member of the team is having individual kit with gaiters, over mitts & equipped with mountain rescue equipment like carabiners, Jumars, descending rappels, avalanche rods, helmets, oxygen cylinder & first aid kit. Each team comprises 10-14 members having 2 operators with VHF phones and walkie talkie who coordinate with other members. The teams assist yatris in crossing tough stretches and help them to reach nearby camps.
Each MRT operates in its area of responsibility & accordingly 11 rescue teams are deployed at Sheshnag, Wavbal, Mahagunus Top, Poshpatri, Kelnar, Dardkote, Sangam Top, Lower Holycave, Y-Junction, Brarimarg & Railpathri. During Yatra 2019, 225 Rescue operations has been conducted till date and many precious lives have been saved by assisting and escorting them to the nearest camp.