DIMAPUR, June 12 - The helicopter service in Nagaland got a major boost today with the addition of a high-end configured air-conditioned helicopter to the existing fleet in the State.
Nagaland Minister for Transport, Civil Aviation, Railways and Land Resources P Paiwang Konyak flagged off the new helicopter at the Dimapur airport here.
The high-end configured air-conditioned helicopter with medical facilities has a sitting capacity for 13 passengers. The helicopter service in the State will now operate on 19 routes from the present 10 routes.
Speaking at the induction programme of the helicopter, Konyak said there would be 75 per cent subsidy on fares for general passengers and in medical evacuation cases, but VIPs, bureaucrats and government servants will not be entitled to any subsidy as per the directive of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
Transport Secretary Kenilo Apon said the State Government had faced a lot of problems during the massive landslides last year. He said the Government had to engage two IAF choppers for evacuation and providing relief to the affected people as the State chopper service was not sufficient.
Following this, he said minister Konyak took up the issue with the Union Home Ministry, which agreed to enhance the flying hours from 480 to 1,200 in the State.
Apon expressed gratitude to Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and Konyak for their initiative in adding an additional helicopter for the service of the people of the State. He also urged the Civil Aviation Ministry to ensure that all pilots deputed in the State follow the standard operating guidelines. After the flagging-off programme, Paiwang went for a short chopper ride along with State officials.