Manipur launches maiden helicopter service

Written by Jimmy Leivon | Imphal | Updated: September 19, 2018 9:05:31 pm

manipur helicopter

Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Wednesday officially launched the first helicopter service in the state between Imphal and Jiribam at Harinagar Helipad in Jiribam District. The first flight of the seven seats capacity Pawan Hans helicopter carrying cabinet ministers of Manipur took off from Imphal International Airport at 9 am.

The Imphal-Jiribam-Imphal helicopter service will operate daily except Sunday and public holidays at a price of Rs. 3000 per person.

The chief minister also flagged off the second flight from Harinagar Helipad after inaugurating the helipad apart from laying the foundation stone for construction of transit accommodation of doctors and teachers during his maiden visit to the district bordering Assam.

“Jiribam has now become a prime area due to the presence of the state’s lone railhead. As such, the State Government would consider formulating a comprehensive plan for the development of Jiribam in consultation with experts”, Singh said.

Stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved over Rs. 25,000 crore for construction of roads in the state, Singh said that work order for the construction of Jiri-Tipaimukh road had been issued to National Highway Infrastructure Development Ltd. (NHIDL).

He further asserted that Imphal-Jiri road had already been revamped, and construction of Makru and Barak bridges was underway and that District Transport Office (DTO) would start functioning within two months.

“I am extremely happy that the government has launched helicopter service. Travelling along the National Highway 37 (Imphal-Jiribam) road has never been easy and secure. Coupled with the nearly 6-hour journey sometimes one has to face the wrath of weather, blockades, loots etc. Sometimes we cannot attend family emergencies. With the chopper service we comfortably to and fro in just 30 to 40 minutes”, said Th Gagarin Singh, a lecturer in Jiribam Higher Secondary School. Th. Gagarin hails from Top Awang Leikai Imphal East district and posted at Jiribam.

NH-37 is often considered often considered as one of the dangerous highways to travel in the state. Besides being landslides prone area the highway is active with militant activities.

It is learnt that altogether 14 cases of abduction and shooting of people engaged in the Imphal-Jiribam railway project were reported during the last one year.

“The chopper service is the greatest gift to the people of Jiribam after it has been neglected all these years. We cannot thank enough the Government of Manipur for the initiative which would bring a sea change in the newly created district”, said N Budhamani sub-inspector CID (special branch) Jiribam.

Apart from taking up necessary steps to start functioning of Jiri Tea Estate in PPP model, Chief Minister N. Biren also assured that the State Government would also look into the feasibility of launching ‘Barak River Waterways’ project in consultation with the Assam Government.