Eastern Mirror Desk | Dimapur, June 12: P Paiwang Konyak, Minister Transport & Civil Aviation & Railways & Land Resources flagged off the second state helicopter service at Dimapur Airport on June 12.
The high-end configured air-conditioned helicopter comes with medical facilities and has a seating capacity of 13 passengers, informed DPRO in a statement. With the induction of the new helicopter, the service in Nagaland will now be operating in 19 routes against 10 routes in the past.
“75 percent subsidy would be entitled only to common passengers and Medical evacuation cases. VIPs and bureaucrats/government servants will not be entitled for subsidies as per the directive from the Ministry of Home Affairs,” read the statement.
Secretary of transport, Kenilo Apon said at the launch event that the state government faced a lot of problems during the massive landslides last year, and had to engage two choppers from the Indian Air Force to meet the challenges of evacuation and relief, as the state chopper service was not sufficient.
He informed that the transport minister took up the issue with the Home Ministry (GOI) and agreed to enhance the flying hours from 480 hours to 1200 hours. He also thanked Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and Konyak for taking up the initiative for the welfare of the people.
The new routes include Noklak, Shamator, Aghunato, Meluri, Seyochung, Tobu, Tizit, Pungro and Pfutsero.
The secretary urged the managing director of civil aviation to ensure that all pilots deputed in the state follow the standard operating guidelines so that the “good image, trust and confidence of the people continue to grow.”
Media persons denied entry
Journalists from various publication houses came to Dimapur airport on Wednesday morning to cover the event but were denied entry.
Speaking to Eastern Mirror, general manager of the Nagaland State Transport department, Elihebemo Yanthan expressed regret for the inconvenience caused. He claimed that NST had included the names of the local dailies in the list that could attend the event.
“Had I been there, the entry would have been possible as I had given the names of the media houses, but I had to rush inside (the airport),” said Yanthan.
A source informed that the press was included in the list but could not accommodate media persons as only 20 people were allowed in the hangar.
“The list had to be reduced to the minister, his secretary, department officials, DPRO, and people who were part of the programme,” said the source, adding that Naga Council and Naga Women Hoho were also in the list.
An airport official informed that according to airport security guideline and procedure, certain protocols such as procuring permission from the airport authority need to be followed before entering the airport, after which the concerned person will be permitted to enter.