Planning Center Int. connectivity via Srinagar airport
The Civil Aviation Ministry plans to establish international air connectivity through Srinagar Airport which currently operates international flights only for the Hajj pilgrimage, officials said on Wednesday.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla chaired a high-level meeting on Wednesday to review the implementation of various programs in the sectors of civil aviation, agriculture and horticulture in the two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Chief Secretary, J&K, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Advisor to LG Ladakh, Umang Narula, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Pradip Singh and Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare have participated in the meeting.
During the meeting, detailed deliberations took place on the feasibility of operationalizing night commercial flights to Srinagar and Jammu airports incorporating appropriate facilities and arrangements.
Chief Secretary J&K informed the Union Home Minister that infrastructure and technical facilities exist at Srinagar Airport to operate flights until 10 p.m. However, during the winter months visibility is drastically reduced resulting in air connectivity disruptions.
The Secretary of Civil Aviation informed that to improve night visibility at Srinagar Airport, efforts are underway to complete the lighting project at the earliest, which would facilitate low visibility flights throughout year through concerted coordination with the Indian Air Force.
Likewise, the airstrip repair work underway at Jammu Airport will be completed this week, followed by the installation of lights by the end of the month to allow the night flights to operate at the same time. Jammu airport, he said.
The Home Secretary also reviewed the state of high density horticultural plantations and their rapid transport to larger markets.
He was informed that to facilitate the marketing of agricultural and agricultural products of the Northeastern States / UTs and the Himalayas, the “Krishi-Udan Scheme” has recently been launched. The program aims to benefit local farmers by providing a 50% subsidy for air transport of perishable products. This would allow the shipment of perishable goods from Jammu and Kashmir to other parts of the country.
Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary of J&K, said that in view of the national highway widening project undertaken by NHIDCL, airlifting perishable goods from EU territory relieves stakeholders associated with agriculture and related activities. It ensured the increase in air cargo facilities through enhanced coordination between UT administration and central government to establish end-to-end links.
It was decided that a committee made up of representatives of the J&K government, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare, will be formed to review changes to the existing program to meet the requirements. J&K needs.
In addition, he was informed that the UT government recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Go Airlines for subsidized air transport of vegetables and fruits from Jammu and Kashmir, the first shipment of which cherries from Srinagar and licchee from Jammu were shipped to Dubai and Mumbai, respectively.
The meeting also discussed the extension of these facilities and projects to the Union territory of Ladakh.