January 22, 2022

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Himachal CM inaugurates first heliport in Shimla under Swadesh Darshan scheme

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has inaugurated a heliport on the outskirts of the city of Shimla. The inauguration ceremony took place on January 12 at Sanjauli, a suburb of Shimla. This is the first among the six heliports to be built under Swadesh Darshan and UDAN-2 schemes. Thakur said the heliport near the Sanjauli-Dhalli bypass was constructed for Rs 18 crore.

“The heliport would not only provide much-needed relief to the high-end tourists visiting the state but will be effectively used in case of medical emergencies as it was near Indira Gandhi Medical College and  Hospital, Shimla,” the officials said.

The Union government provided Rs 12.13 crore for construction of this project under the Himalayan Circuit of the Swadesh Darshan program and Rs 6 crore under UDAN-2, CM Thakur added.

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The Swadesh Darshan is a Central Sector Scheme. It is a theme-based tourist circuit launched by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture by the government of India. The focus of the scheme is to provide a complete tourism experience with varied thematic circuits. The scheme has five circuits under it: Buddhist Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Krishna Circuit, and North-East Circuit.

Meanwhile, UDAN 2.0 primarily focuses on transporting perishable food products from the hilly areas, northeastern states, and tribal areas. The scheme aims to ensure seamless, cost-effective, time-bound air transportation and associated logistics for all Agri-produce originating especially from the Northeast, hilly and tribal regions of the country.

Thakur said the three-storeyed heliport has all the modern facilities. Simultaneously, the government is planning to construct other heliports at Baddi, Rampur, and Mandi under the UDAN-2 scheme.

He said the state government would soon send a proposal for the construction of new heliports at Reckong Peo, Chamba, Dalhousie, Janjehli, and Jawalaji to the Union Ministry of Tourism and the Civil Aviation Ministry which would give a new fillip to tourism activities in these areas. At present, there are 64 helipads in the state and 38 new helipads are being constructed, he added.

With inputs from PTI

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