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Seaplane services to start at six places: Govt

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Dion Global

08 Feb 2019

Seaplane and helicopter services are planned at six water aerodrome sites including Guwahati, Statue of Unity and Sabarmati river fronts, Parliament was informed on Thursday.

Under regional connectivity scheme (UDAN), six water aerodrome sites have been awarded to start seaplane and helicopter services, Minister of State for Shipping, Pon Radhakrishnan said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

He, however, said: "There is no proposal so far to start seaplane and helicopter operations on 1,680 km length of Ganga river for passenger transport".

The minister said the water aerodrome sites are Guwahati river front, Nagarjuna Sagar, Sabarmati river front, Shatrunjay Dam, Statue of Unity (Sardar Sarovar Dam) and Umrangso Reservoir.

Keen on introducing such services in the country, Shipping and Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has been stressing that India has the potential of starting 10,000 seaplanes.

"We have 3 to 4 lakh ponds in India, plenty of dams, 2,000 river ports, 200 small ports and 12 major ports. It will cost less," the minister has said.

The minister had participated in a seaplane trial run of budget carrier SpiceJet at the Girgaum Chowpatty off the Mumbai coast earlier.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had a seaplane ride from the Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad to Dharoi Dam in north Gujarat.