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Pawan Hans To Expand Operations

IMPHAL, May 3: With a view to extend its passenger service to Manipur and Mizoram, Pawan Hans would be procuring 20 helicopters very shortly, informed a reliable source.

At present, Manipur and Mizoram are not included in the Pawan Hans helicopter service operating in the North East region. Pawan Hans is currently operating 12 helicopters for passenger service in the region.

It is reported that the existing fleet of helicopters is not enough to extend passenger service in Manipur and Mizoram.

In order to cover the two States in its route of passenger service, Pawan Hans would be procuring 20 new helicopters.  The North Eastern Council (NEC) has also agreed in principle to sanction Rs 840 crores to Pawan Hans for procuring the 20 helicopters.  Earlier, Pawan Hans made a proposal to the NEC to sanction Rs 1400 crores for procuring 20 helicopters, construction of helipads and associated infrastructure. On receiving the proposal, the NEC asked Pawan Hans to reassess its proposal. After reassessment, the proposed amount was reduced to Rs 840 crores.

This amount could be reduced further if Pawan Hans can obtain certain amount of fund from the Ministry of Tourism which is permissible for the helicopter service.

The NEC has also asked Pawan Hans to conduct a detail survey in the North Eastern States about infrastructure development works, visibility, probable number of helicopter passengers, construction of helipads etc.  In line with the NEC’s directive, a team of Pawan Hans would come to Manipur by next week and make an assessment of the helipad sites proposed by the State Transport Department.

The amount of Rs 840 crores which would be sanctioned by NEC to Pawan Hans is not only for purchasing 20 helicopters but the same amount would also be used for construction of helipads, installation of amenities for passengers, construction of terminal buildings and helicopter hangars. It is being estimated that construction of one helipad would cost around Rs 75 lakhs.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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