Syed Sibtey Razi gives wings to air taxi plan

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Ranchi: If the governor and his three wise men have their way, commuting will take wings in Jharkhand.
Taking a cue from a proposal mooted by civil aviation minister Praful Patel last month, the governor’s advisers — T.P. Sinha, Sunila Basant and G. Krishnan — today resolved to request the Union civil aviation ministry to direct Air India to introduce intra-state air taxi services at the earliest.
The advisory council said that the state was willing to bridge the viability gap with its own resources.
“The air taxi services will be made available in Bokaro, Dhanbad, Deoghar and Jamshedpur. The state will compensate the losses, if the air taxi service fails to get adequate number of passengers,” cabinet secretary P.K. Jajoria told The Telegraph.
Patel, who was in the capital on February 20, had said that starting an inter-district air service would not be difficult if the state could provide an annual subsidy of Rs 15-20 crore.
The Union minister had said that his department was ready with the blueprint of the project. The facility, he said, could start with only two aircraft and some minor revamp of the existing, but unused, airfields.
An open tender could be invited for the project, which would bring development to the state, Patel had said. Governor Syed Sibtey Razi had appreciated the suggestion and assured him of initiating steps to execute the idea.
The meeting of the advisory council began almost half an hour late today since the agenda wasn’t ready.
Besides resolving to start the air taxi service in the state, the advisory council also sanctioned Rs 115.04 crore for the expansion of the Birsa Munda Airport.
The council agreed to invite compensation claims from legal heirs of land that would be acquired for the expansion project.

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~ by anand213 on March 3, 2009.

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