While Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched a seaplane service in Gujarat, a similar project which was planned to introduce at three locations in Assam still remains on paper.
In an ambitious initiative to boost tourism, the state-run Airport Authority of India (AAI) in September last year announced to introduce water aerodrome or seaplanes in three locations in Assam for the first time.
“To boost tourism and connectivity, three river fronts were selected in Assam to introduce the water-based ferry for the first time in India,” AAI regional executive director Sanjeev Jindal has said.
Although the AAI planned to launch the service in Brahmaputra river at the end of this year or by early 2021, the project since seems to have hit a dead end.
The AAI planned to build three jetties in three locations at a cost of Rs 50 crores, but no work has been started yet for launching the new ferrying mode.
The water aerodrome or seaplanes services were planned to be introduced under the UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) scheme, announced by the government earlier.
Prime Minister launched the seaplane service from the Statue of Unity in Kevadia of Gujarat’s Narmada district to Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad to mark the 145th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Modi also travelled on the maiden seaplane flight to Sabarmati riverfront.
The seaplane is a Twin Otter 300 registered in the name M/s Spicejet Technic and be operated by SpiceJet.
This 19-seater seaplane will be used for flights between the Sabarmati riverfront and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s Statue of Unity in Kevadia as a part of the regional connectivity scheme.
The seaplane will be able to accommodate 12 passengers and tickets will cost Rs 4,800 per person.