Raipur: With the first flight from New Delhi to Bilaspur, the name of Chhattisgarh's Nyadhani Bilaspur was marked on the air map of the country today. While addressing the virtual launch function of the airline from Bilasa Devi Kendwa Airport Bilaspur (Chakarbhata), Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said that today is a very important today for Chhattisgarh. The old dream of connecting Bilaspur by air service has come true today.
Baghel virtually joined the inauguration ceremony online from his office hall in the assembly premise. The virtual inauguration ceremony was presided over by Union Minister of AviationHardeep Singh Puri.
Chief minister said that various organizations, civil society along with the state government have been making consistent efforts for this. The High Court also took cognizance in this regard. On the occasion, chief minister congratulated people of the state including Bilaspur, Union Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, including those coming from Bilaspur on the first flight and departing from Bilaspur. He said that the Union Aviation Minister listened to us with kindness and acted promptly so that the flight could start within a month of getting the license. chief minister said that with the commencement of this flight, people of this region will be able to travel to the capital of the country, New Delhi, Jabalpur and Prayagraj.
Chief Minister requested Union Minister of Aviation to start international air service from Raipur Airport in Chhattisgarh, saying that Raipur Airport has been developed for international flights. He also said that if the airline company starts a morning flight after night stay, state government agrees to reduce the rate of VAT on ATF in Chhattisgarh. Currently four percent VAT is applicable on ATF. Baghel while requesting to set up the cargo hub at Raipur Airport said that the necessary facilities for the cargo hub are available at Raipur Airport. Chief Minister also requested the Union Minister to start flights to Dehradun and Ranchi.
Presiding over the program, Union Minister of Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri said that the commencement of air service from Bilaspur is a good example of coordination between the central and state government. He said that with the introduction of this air service, business and tourism will flourish in this region, and people will have easy access to medical facilities. He said that Rs 130 crore have been spent so far for the development of Swami Vivekananda Airport in Raipur. Construction of new terminal building in Raipur is also under consideration. With this, the number of people traveling by airplane will increase from 2.7 million to 7 million per year. He said that there are 9 flying route operations in Chhattisgarh; two new routes have started since today. Puri informed that under the Regional Connectivity Scheme, an amount of Rs 125 crore has been spent on the development of airports at Jagdalpur, Ambikapur and Bilaspur.
Expressing gratitude to the guests, home minister and Minister in-charge of Bilaspur district said that today is a pleasant and glorious occasion when the collective efforts have finally paid off by connecting Bilaspur with air service. Chief minister interacted with the passengers of Bilaspur traveling on the first flight and congratulated them.
It is noteworthy that Bilaspur air service from Bilaspur to New Delhi and New Delhi to Bilaspur started today. Two flights of aircraft (72 seating capacity) will operate from Bilaspur to Delhi on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The first flight will leave Delhi and reach Bilaspur at 3.20 am via Jabalpur and return to Delhi from Bilaspur at 3.45 pm via Prayagraj. The second flight will reach Bilaspur from Delhi at 4 pm via Prayagraj and will go from Bilaspur to New Delhi via Jabalpur at 4.30 pm.