The precious life of the Chief Minister, Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, could have been saved had a law been enacted that any travel by helicopter should be cleared by the MET and other department officials during inclement weather.
This is third fateful incident in Andhra Pradesh where a VIP lost his or her life in such incident. Film actress Soundarya died in a crash, Lok Sabha Speaker G M C Bala Yogi died in a copter crash and now Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy died in a similar incident.
The piloting team of the ill-fated copter carrying the Chief Minister did not bother to carry the blinker lamp, which serves as a beacon light to attract the attention of rescue teams in case of emergency.
The administrative and security advisors had not bothered to suggest that the Chief Minister carry a satellite telephone with him at least during heli-hopping. Ironically, none of the members in the team has a BSNL cellphone connection. They have either Airtel or Idea, which do not have proper network in the Nallamala forests. Only the government owned BSNL has a network in the dense forests.
Admitting the security lapse, AP Aviation Corporation managing director, Mr K V Brahmananda Reddy, said the Chief Minister’s team was not carrying a satellite phone for emergency communication.
The modern satellite phones are well-equipped with distress radio beams and the signal can be detected from virtually any point on the globe, he pointed out.
Given the thick forest area and the naxal threat in the Nallamala forests, the chief security officer accompanying Rajasekhar Reddy should have taken extra precautions. But he did not bother to carry even a torch light as the team did not anticipate any trouble and the flight was during the day.