Home Dehradun Exercise begins to launch Doon-Kathmandu flight

Exercise begins to launch Doon-Kathmandu flight

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By Arun Pratap Singh

Dehradun, 27 May: Government has claimed that the exercise will soon begin to launch Dehradun-Kathmandu flights. In addition, the Tourism Department is working on a ‘4K Heli Project’ in collaboration with the Civil Aviation Department to promote religious tourism in the state. With this, all the religious places can be connected by heli services. The process of starting international flights from Dehradun to Kathmandu has also reached the final stage. It is expected that international flights from Dehradun to Kathmandu will start in the next few days.

The Uttarakhand Government is working on further boosting religious tourism in the state and is also promoting alternative destinations like Manaskhand Mandir Mala, Adi Kailash, Purnagiri, etc., in addition to the Char Dham routes. It is also working on a collaboration with the Civil Aviation Department to link some leading pilgrimage sites related to Lord Shiva under a circuit. This project is being called 4K Heli Services and the objective is interlinking of heli services between Kedarnath, Kashi (Varanasi), Kailash and Kathmandu. For this, the aim is to start Dehradun-Kathmandu flights soon. While the exercise had begun some time ago, it had not made much headway. To make it a reality, it is necessary to start international flights between Dehradun and Kathmandu for which the process is rather long.

The Civil Aviation Department has been engaged in efforts for some time to connect Kathmandu under the 4K Heli scheme. For this, the Civil Aviation Department has also conducted a tender process and soon financial bids will be opened. The bids are likely to open tomorrow according to the State Civil Aviation Department. Once the financial bids are cleared, the way for launch of international flights between Dehradun and Kathmandu will be paved. One of the major hurdles is that Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun, at present does not have the status of an International Airport. It also does not also have customs facility at present. It is mandatory to have customs and immigration offices at any international airport. While the Pushkar Singh Dhami Government is pursuing the case with the Centre in this regard, it is likely to take some time. In addition, the length of the runway at the airport in Dehradun also needs to be increased by at least 650 metres so that international flights can be operated from here. The Civil Aviation Department is insisting on increasing the runway of Jolly Grant Airport by 650 metres.

There is a plan for complete expansion of Dehradun Airport. At present, the process of increasing the runway of this airport by 650 metres is going on. For this, the process of land acquisition is going on.

UCADA CEO C Ravi Shankar said that the main objective of starting international flights between Dehradun and Kathmandu in the first phase is religious tourism. Along with Kedarnath temple, people also wish to visit Pashupatinath temple in Nepal. Keeping this in view, the Tourism Department has prepared a detailed plan, in which 4K heli-service has been included. Under the 4K scheme, Kedarnath, Kashi, Kathmandu and Kailash Mansarovar will be connected through heli service.

Heli service is being operated from Pithoragarh for Kailash Mansarovar. Along with this, heli service is being operated for Pithoragarh-Pantnagar-Kashi. Every year, during the Chardham Yatra, heli service is operated for Kedarnath Dham. Now the process of connecting Dehradun to Kathmandu is going on in the final stage.