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Jiri-Imphal helicopter flight cancelled leaving passengers stranded and peeved

JIRIBAM | Sept 25 : The first helicopter service in Manipur which was recently launched by chief minister, N. Biren Singh with high spirit of boosting air connectivity between Imphal-Jiribam has now become a total failure and people no longer trust with the service.

Today, several passengers who turned up at Jiribam Harinagar Helipad to take their helicopter flight were left disappointed when the men at Helipad ticket booking counter informed them that the flight service had been cancelled due to bad weather.

Several Imphal bound passengers booked their tickets at Jiribam Harinagar Helipad to take their first flight at 9:50 am and second flight at 2:55 pm. Despite long wait for hours, the helicopter did not arrive. When enquired, the officials informed the passengers that flights have been cancelled for the day citing heavy downpour and bad weather condition in Imphal which infuriated the passengers. Later on, the passengers refunded their flight ticket money.

“Ironically, relatives in Imphal telephonically informed that weather condition in the state capital was alright with no sign of rainfall,” said one of the passengers.

He alleged that cancellation of flight service was due to unavailability of passengers in Imphal and bad weather was just a lame excuse. Such incident should not be repeated in future otherwise the newly launched helicopter service will lose public’s trust.

Reportedly, since the day of launching of the flight service, people have not seen any helicopter in Jiribam so far except the flight on September 20.

Moreover, the approach road to Jiribam Harinagar Helipad, which is around 7 km away from proper Jiribam town, is in a deplorable condition and passengers are facing problems in terms of transport.

It may be mentioned that during the official launching of the helicopter service on September 19, the chief minister said that the flight service will be operating on a daily basis except on Sundays and public holidays and fare for a one-way travel is Rs.3,000 per person. The Noida-based state-run Pawan Hans is the service provider and it will fly an eight-seater chopper.

~IFP

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