The much-awaited helicopter service between Manipur State capital Imphal and hill towns located at difficult terrain was launched at the Imphal International Airport, 8 km south of Imphal, on Monday. The idea is to improve connectivity in the land-locked State.
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh accompanied by Revenue Minister Karam Shyam, Tribal Affairs and Hills Minister N Kayisii, Agriculture Minister V Hangkhanlian, MLAs and officials attended the formal launching programme and Biren inaugurated the ticket counter of Manipur Heli-Service, the service operator at the airport, on Monday.
With the day’s formal launching programme, Moreh, a commercial town bordering Myanmar and Tamenglong, a hill station and district headquarters got their maiden helicopter service. Moreh is 110 km south of Imphal while Tamenglong is 150 km west of Imphal.
Stating that introduction of helicopter services would help to reach Tamenglong which is located at difficult terrain within minutes besides improving sense of belongingness and oneness amongst the people, Biren said that the Government is having a discussion with the concerned parties for introduction of similar services for places like Churachandpur, Senapati and Ukhrul in the State if necessary.
The Noida-based Pawan Hans Limited has provided the helicopter service with an eight-seater chopper in Manipur. Maintaining that the Government is seriously concerned with about the inconvenience faced by the people in interior areas at the time of medical emergency, he also informed that Flying Doctors (air ambulance service) would also be launched within one and a half month.
The helicopter service will have daily service except Sunday and holidays and it will charge Rs 2,000 per person per trip. However there would be no holiday on November 7, 9 and 10 next in view of the Ningol Chakkouba, the greatest festival of Manipur which falls on November 9 next.
The Chief Minister also informed that air ambulance service would also be launched within one and a half month once the construction of helipad is completed at RIM hospital’s complex in Imphal.