Himachal Pradesh CM visits proposed heliport site near Shimla

SHIMLA: To attract high-end tourists to this hill town a heliport was proposed during the previous Congress regime somewhere near Sanjauli-Dhalli bypass. With construction work not beginning during the Congress regime, the BJP government has decided to start its construction. Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur on Friday visited the proposed site, along with senior officers of the state government.

Thakur accompanied by senior government officials inspected the proposed site at Dhalli bypass near Shimla. He has directed the tourism department to call tenders immediately for starting the construction of the heliport and complete the work within one year. He also asked the PWD to improve the condition of link road to the proposed site. The CM said that the heliport would prove to be a platform for the promotion of high-end tourism in the state.

It was in August, last year, that the then chief minister, Virbhadra Singh, while chairing a meeting of the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation had announced the construction of the Rs 7-crore heliport in Shimla. At that time he had said that the heliport would come up on a hill plateau and would also have indoor and outdoor exits besides landing facility for private choppers.

As the state has limited air connectivity and almost negligible rail network, the state has been trying for long to promote tourism through heli service. Around seven years back, heli-taxi service was launched on January 29, 2011, from Annadale ground in Shimla that had failed miserably. Himachal Pradesh has 63 operational helipads across the state, including remote tribal areas.

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