As the Nepal government focuses on relief distribution with the search and rescue mission almost coming to an end, 13 Indian, eight American and three Chinese choppers are providing relief materials in various quake-hit districts.This also comes amid media reports in national and international media that strategic rivalry between India and China over addressing Nepal quake was heightened and both Asian nations are gearing up their hard and soft power clout in Nepal.
According to Nepal Army, choppers belonging to the Indian Air Force are based in Pokhara and Kathmandu and have been dropping relief materials in Gorkha district, the quake epicentre.
They are also dropping relief materials in Makwanpur, Rasuwa and Dhading districts which were majorly affected in the 9.2-magnitude tremor on April 25. Six Indian choppers are based in Pokhara while seven are stationed in Kathmandu and dropping relief material according to the need, said the Nepal Army.One Nepal Army official is designated in each flight to coordinate with the foreign teams.
Though the US has provided eight choppers for relief distribution, four of them are Osprey machines used by the US Marine which cannot fly at high altitude making it difficult to drop relief materials, said a Nepal Army official.The US has been given responsibility to drop relief materials in Kavre, Dolakha, Ramechhap and Okhaldhunga districts.Three Chinese MI-17s are also engaged in relief distribution in the northern belt of Nepal in the districts of Sindhupalchok, Nuwakot and Rasuwa adjoining the border with China.