Imphal, Oct. 29,
In line with the Imphal-Jiribam helicopter service, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh launched Imphal-Tamenglong and Imphal-Moreh helicopter services as well at Imphal International Airport today.
The Chief Minister officially inaugurated the service of these two routes by cutting the ribbon of ticket counter of Manipur Heli-Service opened at the airport. He also handed over the ticket to the first passenger of the heli-service.
Speaking to media persons, the Chief Minister said that introduction of helicopter services would enhance connectivity in the State thereby boosting the sense of belongingness and oneness amongst the people. Manipur is a State having many difficult terrains and it takes many hours even to reach district headquarters. However, people would now be able to reach district headquarters within minutes with the introduction of Manipur Heli-Service, the Chief Minister said.
Stating that helicopter services may be operational in many other routes wherever necessary including Ukhrul, Senapati and Churachandpur as well, the Chief Minister said that he had talked to the authority of Pawan Hans, the agency which is operating helicopter services in the State, regarding the matter.
Maintaining that the Government is extremely concerned with the inconvenience faced by the people residing in interior areas at the time of medical emergency, Shri N. Biren Singh also informed the media that Flying Doctors (air ambulance service) would also be launched within one and a half month.
On the other hand, the Chief Minister also said that the Union Sports Ministry had approved opening of a sports medicine unit at RIMS Hospital.
Responding to a query regarding looting of vehicles on NH-37 (Imphal-Jiribam road), Shri N. Biren Singh said that the State Government has always been restraining from exercising force as far as possible. However, it is now compelled to use security forces at the areas where unlawful activities are happening, he said while adding that it is the responsibility of the Government to provide safe passage to transporters and travelers.
He said that he had ordered the State forces to conduct a massive combing operation with the help of Army and paramilitary forces to nab the culprits, who were involved in looting of vehicles at Keimai and burning down of a vehicle at Awang Khun. The Government would not spare those involved in such illegal activities, and strong action would be taken against them, he assured.
Replying to another question regarding highway protection force, the Chief Minister said that the Centre had granted to raise two IRB Battalions, and necessary procedures to begin recruitment process had already started. Recruitment Committee had already been formed and completion of recruitment would take hardly two-three months, he added.
CAF & PD Minister Karam Shyam, Tribal Affairs and Hills Minister N. Kayisii, Agriculture Minister V. Hangkhanlian, Manipur Legislative Assembly Deputy Speaker K. Robindro, Manipur State Planning Board Deputy Chairman S. Rajen, Manipur Pollution Control Board Chairman L. Radhakishore, Manipur Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Board Chairperson Heikham Dingo, Manipur Infrastructure Development Agency (MIDA) Vice-Chairperson O. Lukhoi, Yaiskul AC MLA Th. Satyabrata, Chief Secretary Dr. S. Suresh Babu, Advisor to Chief Minister Rajat Sethi, DGP L.M. Khaute, Information Commissioner Dr. S. Ibocha and Commissioner (Transport) M. Lakhsmikumar were also present at the occasion.
Funding for these helicopter services is jointly borne by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the State Government at the ratio of 75:25. Passenger fair of Imphal-Tamenglong and Imphal-Moreh is Rs. 2000 each and Imphal-Jiribam is Rs. 3000 and baggage allowance of all these routes is 5 kg.