Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti reviewed the status of the air connectivity scheme launched by the Government last year to connect all the far-flung areas of the State to the capital cities, particularly during road blockades.
Currently, the State Government runs chopper service to some 14 far flung destinations across the State including Gurez, Tulail, Doda, Kishtwar, Karnah, Kargil, Drass, Padum, Lingshit(Leh), Nubra, Poonch, Rajouri and other locations. The subsidized chopper service was launched by the Government last year. The aim has been to provide round the year and easy connectivity to the people of these areas in particular students, aged, infirm and other such categories.
The Chief Minister directed the concerned agencies to raise necessary helipad facilities at these places for smooth landing of the choppers. She also directed raising of other requisite infrastructure needed for efficient operation of these services.
Mehbooba Mufti in particular directed clearing bottlenecks in raising airstrips at Kishtwar, Rajouri and at Kargil and sort out the issues with the concerned stakeholders.
The meeting was informed that since the launch of the scheme, 535 flying hours have been provided by these choppers benefitting a large number of people from these areas. The service has also fetched the exchequer a revenue of Rs. 44 lakhs during the period, the meeting was told.
Chief Secretary, B B Vyas; DGP, Dr. S P Vaid; Financial Commissioner, Housing & Urban Development, K B Aggarwal; administrative secretaries of concerned Departments; Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu; representatives from Airport Authority of India; officers of Divisional and district administration were present in the meeting.