The Government of India has sanctioned Rs. 48 crores for Jagdalpur (expenditure incurred Rs 45 crores), Rs. 27 crores for Ambikapur (expenditure incurred Rs 27 crores) and Rs. 33 crores for Bilaspur (expenditure made Rs 20 crores) under UDAN scheme for up-gradation and development of 3 airports in Chhattisgarh, said Hardeep Singh Puri, MoS, I/C, Civil Aviation.
Speaking at the inauguration of flight operations by Alliance Air from Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh) to Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and Hyderabad (Telangana) under UDAN scheme yesterday, Puri said that this air connectivity will fulfil the aspirations of people of the region and provide impetus to the local economy.
Bhupesh Baghel, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh; Prem Sai Singh, In-charge Minister, Bastar; TS Singh Deo, Chhattisgarh Minister for Rural Development and Health; Deepak Baij, MP, Bastar, and other senior officials also joined the virtual event. The dignitaries interacted with the first-time passengers who seemed to be very delighted with the inauguration of the new air route under UDAN.
Puri further informed that the Airports Authority of India has planned for the investment of about Rs 900 crores to develop and expand Raipur airport which includes expansion of the terminal building. Recently, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had approved the bid of Alliance Air for the operation of RCS Flight from Bilaspur to Bhopal under UDAN 4.0 which is expected to commence shortly.
Air India’s wholly owned subsidiary, Alliance Air was awarded this route under the UDAN 3 bidding process. The airline will operate daily flights and will deploy 72 seater luxury ATR 70 aircraft on this route. With the commencement of the Jagdalpur-Raipur-Hyderabad route, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has operationalized a total of 285 routes under RCS-UDAN.
Flight operations between Jagdalpur and Hyderabad will reduce the travel time to 75 minutes from the current 12 hours spent on road and train trips. People from Jagdalpur can now reach the capital city Raipur in just 45 minutes as compared to 7 hours on-road journey.
Jagdalpur is popularly known as paradise land and termed as escapist’s dreamland, as the city is famous for Chitrakote falls, which are also called as ‘The Niagra falls of India.’ Jagdalpur is also known for its wildlife, temples, caves, lakes, museums, and historic monuments. The Ministry of Tourism had earlier identified Jagdalpur-Teerathgarh-Chitrakoot-Barsur-Dantewada-Teerathgarh Circuit as one of the 45 mega tourist destinations/circuits in India on the basis of footfalls and their future tourism potential.