Launched under UDAN, which aims to provide affordable air services to common people, the fare has been kept "affordable" at Rs 4120 from Sahastradhara to Gauchar and Rs 3320 from Sahastradhara to Chinyalisaur.
Cheer for Char Dham Yatra pilgrims! In a move that could give a big boost to the religious tourism in Uttarakhand, affordable helicopter services have been operationalised from Dehradun’s Sahastradhara to Gauchar and Chinyalisaur. The heli services will be operated twice a day by Heritage Aviation airlines under the UDAN or Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik scheme.
Launched under UDAN, which aims to provide affordable air services to common people, the fare has been kept “affordable” at Rs 4120 from Sahastradhara to Gauchar and Rs 3320 from Sahastradhara to Chinyalisaur. Regional air connectivity scheme UDAN was launched in the year 2017 to boost regional connectivity in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat along with secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation Pradeep Singh Kharola inaugurated the helicopter services on the occasion.
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The move has the potential to boost religious tourism as the air route will complement the ease of access to the Char Dham Yatra. While Gauchar is a stopover to Badrinath, Chinyalisaur is en route to Gangotri in the Uttarkashi district.
Heritage Aviation, which had bagged the air route in the second phase of UDAN bidding conducted by the government, will operate exclusively on the route as per the mandate of the UDAN scheme. The government will also provide the viability gap funding to the airlines as the fare of a fixed number of passengers are kept economical to keep it affordable for common man under the scheme. With this latest air route getting operational, the government has been able to inaugurate 260 routes under the UDAN scheme so far.
Heli services have already been operational from Chandigarh to Shimla, Shimla to Dharamshala and Shimla to Kullu under the UDAN scheme. The government is also going to conduct the 4th phase of bidding under UDAN in order to further strengthen air connectivity in the country especially in the hilly regions of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and the North-Eastern states. The government had also proposed to build 100 new airports under the scheme across the country by the year 2024 in its union budget. A target of doubling the number of fleet under the scheme by 2024 has also been set by the government. Presently the number of fleet hovers at around 600.