On Wednesday, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur inaugurated a heliport near the Sanjauli-Dhalli bypass in Shimla. The project is estimated to cost nearly Rs 18 crores.
“The heliport inaugurated today can be used to launch the Udan-II scheme to provide air connectivity to the state capital, which had long been deprived of air connectivity. It required almost 45 minutes to reach the Jubbarhatti airport, but now with the heliport functional, the travel will be more convenient for people,” he said to the media.
According to Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, the Centre has allocated Rs 12.13 crore from the Himalayan Circuit of the Swadesh Darshan programme and Rs 6 crore from UDAN-2 for the construction of this project. The heliport would be beneficial to high-end tourists visiting the state. In addition to tourism, the heliport will also be helpful in the event of a medical emergency since the place is close to the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital in Shimla.
The three-story heliport comprises of all facilities, including a manager’s office, a VIP lounge, a welcome desk and a ticket counter, among other amenities. The heliport also contains a portacabin for passenger arrivals, a safety net, 50 parking spaces and a helicopter deck.
The heliport is located on a 10.3-hectare plot of ground that has been decorated with murals and is fully equipped with a CCTV/surveillance system.
According to the Chief Minister, heliports are being built in Mandi, Baddi and Rampur as part of the Government of India’s Udaan-2 programme.
State seeks permission to build new heliports in Himachal Pradesh
The state government would shortly submit a proposal to the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation to develop new heliports at Reckong Peo, Jhanjeli, Chamba, Jawalaji, and Dalhousie and other locations to boost tourism in these areas.
According to Chief Minister Thakur, special attention is being placed on air connectivity and the four lanes of the state’s principal tourist areas. The state government is currently building 38 new helipads, bringing the total number of helipads in the state to 64.
Heliports and helipads will be helpful in the near future for tourism, connectivity, and emergency situations. These would also help rescue operations and transport patients to larger hospitals during emergencies.