Further expanding air connectivity in the mountainous northeastern states, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Monday virtually flagged off six additional routes involving three northeast state capitals and Kolkata, officials said.
The minister formally commenced additional flight operations in six routes Kolkata-Guwahati, Guwahati-Aizawl, Aizawl-Shillong, Shillong-Aizawl, Aizawl-Guwahati and Guwahati-Kolkata.
“We are committed to provide wings to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of making it possible that every state’s uniqueness must be experienced by all citizens of the country. Alliance Air’s most ATR aircraft are deployed on the northeastern routes. Today, we are further establishing seamless connectivity across northeast India by connecting four cities with one flight,” he said.
Scindia said that the new initiatives underline the due importance given to the northeast by the Civil Aviation Ministry.
“Under the UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) scheme, we have connected cities that had no mention on the aviation map of the country earlier. We have already started 60 airports and 387 routes, out of which 100 routes were awarded in the northeast region alone of which 50 are already operational,” Scindia said.
He said that in 2014, only six airports were operational in the northeast region, which has now increased to 15 in a short span of seven years.
In addition to this, under the Krishi Udan Yojna, the government has identified 16 airports to enhance the export opportunities of the region by establishing dual benefits of enhancement of cargo movements and exports, he added.
“Eastern India tempts tourists with wonderful valleys, hilly streams, lush green forests, vast tea gardens, snow-capped mountain peaks, mighty rivers, tribal culture and its colourful fairs and festivals,” he said.
Stating that Shillong is famous for the presence of many reputed educational institutions, the Union minister said that it is the hub of education for the entire northeast India.
Minister of State for Civil Aviation, General (retd) V.K. Singh, Secretary in the Civil Aviation Ministry, Rajeev Bansal, and several ministers and senior officials from Mizoram took part in the virtual event.