Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 27:
Pawan Hans Ltd, a New Delhi-based helicopter company, has evinced interest in launching commercial helicopter services in Odisha.
The company had a meeting in this regard with chief secretary GC Pati in the presence of senior officials at the State Secretariat here today.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting, principal secretary, General Administration GVV Sarma said there was a detailed discussion on the proposal for launching Bhubaneswar-Paradip helicopter service to begin with.
“The company has requested the state government to provide subsidy and other support for one or two years since it cannot run full-fledged commercial service as per the sunk-cost assessment in the initial phase. It was decided that the Paradip Port Trust (PPT) would examine the request of the company and if necessary, the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) can also be roped in. Both the PPL and the IOCL will examine the requirement of Pawan Hans and accordingly take a decision,” Sarma said.
He said the meeting also discussed the launch of Bhubaneswar-Puri, Bhubaneswar-Konark and Bhubaneswar-Chilika services by the company for promotion of tourism infrastructure in the state, the amount of required financial support by the state government, the volume of financial components and its modality.
“The meeting discussed the possibility of the company launching its services in Odisha. We have plans to launch two services, one from Bhubaneswar to Paradip and second link flight from Bhubaneswar to Chilika via Konark and Puri. We have some more works to do. We have formed two teams for these two separate flights. The company is interested to launch its service in Odisha. We are hopeful that we can start the project at the earliest possible with the support of the state administration and the chief secretary,” said BP Sharma, CMD of the company.
“Discussions were held on the operation of service for which the company’s Board has told PPT to provide a helipad free of cost, a wind indicator, a guest house and one or two rooms for the visitors. Besides, the company has also sought fire-fighting facilities from the port authorities for a period of six months,” Rama Chandra Rao, chief engineer, PPT, told reporters after the meeting.