Seaplanes connect cities

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has commenced the process of operating seaplanes on select routes from hubs in Delhi, Mumbai and Surat to various tourist spots of North and West India.

Manas Dwivedi

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways is kicking off the ambitious project of Sagarmala Seaplane Services (SSPS) with potential airline operators. To run the service, the authorities are keen to associate with interested scheduled and non-scheduled airline operators.The proposed origin-destination pairs under the hub-and-spoke model include islands of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep; Guwahati Riverfront & Umranso Reservoir in Assam; Yamuna Riverfront in Delhi (as hub) to Ayodhaya, Tehri, Srinagar (Uttarakhand), Chandigarh and many other tourist places of Punjab & HP; Mumbai (as hub) to Shirdi, Lonavala, Ganpatipule; Surat (as hub) to Dwarka, Mandvi & Kandla; Khindsi Dam, Nagpur & Erai Dam, Chandrapur (Maharashtra) and/or any other hub-and-spoke suggested by the operator. One such seaplane service is already in operation between Kevadia and Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad.

Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State (I/C) for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, says, “By providing air connectivity to numerous remote, religious and tourist places as well as unexplored locations near water bodies will make the journey easier. It will generate employment opportunities and stimulate tourism in these new locations, which will consequently contribute to the country’s GDP in the long run.”

Besides being a game-changer providing a supplementary means of faster and comfortable transportation across the nation, the service will boost tourism among both domestic and international travellers.

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