Manipur gets two more helicopter service

Pothashang News Service: Imphal, October 29, 2018: With the launching of Imphal-Tamenglong and Imphal-Moreh helicopter services today Manipur has got three helicopter services connecting Imphal with three districts.

Chief minister N. Biren Singh launched the services at Imphal International Airport after Imphal-Jiribam service was launched on September 19.

Stating that helicopter services may be operational in many other routes wherever necessary including Ukhrul, Senapati and Churachandpur as well, the chief minister said he had talked to the authority of Pawan Hans, the agency which is operating helicopter services in the state, regarding the matter.

Biren said 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, he added.

Maintaining that the government is extremely concerned with the inconvenience faced by the people residing in interior areas at the time of medical emergency, Biren informed that Flying Doctors (air ambulance service) would also be launched within one and a half month.

He also said the sports ministry has approved opening of a sports medicine unit at Regional Institute of Medical Sciences hospital, here.

“Our people are crazy in sports. When sportspersons get injured they have to go outside the state as we don’t have facility of sports medical care,” said the chief minister.

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.

Consumer affairs, food and public distribution minister Karam Shyam, tribal affairs and hills minister N. Kayisii, agriculture minister V. Hangkhanlian, deputy Speaker K. Robindro, MLAs high ranking officials were present at the launching function.

Road distance between Imphal and Tamenglong district headquarter is about 164 km, that of Imphal to Moreh (Indo-Myanmar border town in Tengnoupal district) is about 110 km and the road distance between Imphal and Jiribam is about 220 km.

The chief minister said that he has ordered the state force 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 along the national highway 37.

The government would not spare those involved in such illegal activities, and strong action would be taken against them, said the chief minister.

He said 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 travellers.

Regarding provision of highway protection force, the chief minister said 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.

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