Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Rs 450 cr seaplane services to boost tourism industry

New Delhi: Billed as “game changer” for the Indian maritime, civil aviation and tourism sectors, the Modi Government on Tuesday gave a major push to its ambitious seaplane services project that would span Delhi, Gujarat, Assam, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh among others.

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) and Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard in the presence of Union Ministers Hardeep Singh and Mansukh Mandaviya.

“This MoU between the two ministries will help in expediting the development of new water aerodromes and also operationalisation of new seaplane routes in India. This will give a big fillip to the provision of a new kind of tourism service in India,” Puri said.

A total of 28 seaplane routes and 14 water aerodromes in Gujarat, Assam, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar islands and Lakshadweep are in various stages of development at a cost of Rs 450 crore, Puri pointed out.

Mandaviya termed it a game changer saying it will not only enhance seamless connectivity across the nation by promoting eco-friendly transportation through seaplanes but also give a boost to the tourism industry.

The ambitious project will be carried out under a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) framework through prospective airline operators. The Sagarmala Development Company Ltd (SDCL) under the aegis of the MoPSW will execute and implement the project while the MoCA would carry out bidding and select potential airlines operators based on their commercial consideration through bidding process, incorporating the locations/routes as identified by MoPSW and routes identified through bidding process in the UDAN scheme document.

Seaplane services will be developed as a part of the RCN-UDAN initiative of the Civil Aviation Ministry.

The MoCA will also provide funds/financial support in respect of water aerodromes awarded under RCS-UDAN scheme and coordinate with Chief Secretaries of all States for the Seaplanes operations.

The MoPSW recently issued an expression of interest for the Sagarmala Seaplane Service (SSPS) for having this service to connect several places like — Delhi’s Yamuna riverfront and Ayodhya, Tehri, Srinagar (Uttarakhand) and Chandigarh; Mumbai to Shirdi, Lonavala and Ganpatipule; Surat to Dwarka, Mandvi and Kandla; and within the archipelagos of Andaman and Nicobar and Laskhadweep.

15/06/21 Pioneer

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