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Government aims to Strengthen air connectivity to boost tourism in State

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A Budget provision of Rs. 30 crore for current fiscal

Shimla, April 27

Air transport and tourism are inextricably linked to each other as rail, road and air connectivity is directly related to tourism. Not only domestic but international tourists also wish for good connectivity so that they could reach the destination of their choice comfortably.

The State Government is committed to strengthen air connectivity in the state and developing Heliports at Rampur, Baddi, Kanganidhar (Mandi) and SASE (Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment), Manali. This will give a big boost to tourism development in these areas as high-end tourists will directly reach these destinations to enjoy the serene beauty of these places.

Similarly, heli-taxi services will be operationalized soon from Sanjauli in Shimla and Baddi Heliports. In addition to this, heliports will be constructed and developed in Hamirpur, Kangra, Chamba, Kullu, Lahaul and Spiti, Kinnaur and Una district to ensure that these places remain connected with air transport throughout the year. The State Government has made a budget provision of Rs. 30 crore for the construction and development of these heliports during the current financial year.

   Apart from the construction of heliports, the State Government is also endeavouring to construct an international airport at Mandi, besides expansion of Kangra Airport. The Social Impact Assessment (SIA) survey of Mandi Airport was completed. The acquisition process will be started after it.

 The execution of the master plan prepared by the Airport Authority of India for the expansion of Kangra Airport will be expedited.  The process of land acquisition to increase the length of the runway of the Kangra Airport from existing 1,372 meters to 3,010 meters will be completed by the middle of next financial year. This will facilitate landing of big aeroplanes and thus provide facility of air transportation at competitive rates.

In order to develop global tourist destinations in the State, better connectivity is extremely important. Air connectivity is vital for the Tier II and III cities of the State. The steps taken by the present state government will surely boost tourism in the State and also decongest the already congested popular hill stations of the State.

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