Dehradun, July 3 (IANS) Seaplane services will soon begin at the Tehri Lake as the Uttarakhand government on Wednesday signed a tripartite agreement with the Union Civil Aviation Ministry and the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to start the operation.
Efforts are being made to start the service from 2020. Initially, 12 to 20 seater seaplanes will start operating in Tehri Lake which can fly passengers between Tehri and Dehradun with an approximate cost of Rs 5,000 per passenger, top officials said.
Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said the entire investment in the seaplane project would be borne by the Central government.
“This is a historic occasion. Starting seaplane services in Tehri Lake will also give a boost to tourism in Tehri district,” he said.
After the agreement was signed here, state Civil Aviation Secretary Dilip Jawalkar said a waterdrome would also be set up near the Tehri Lake which is a huge reservoir of the mega 2400 MW Tehri hydel project. For this, the state government has identified 2.5 hectares of land.
Officials said the state government has already reduced VAT on seaplane fuel from 20 per cent to one per cent.
Union Civil Aviation Joint Secretary Usha Padhee described the MoU as an important step and said it was for the first time that an agreement to develop a waterdrome was signed by the Centre.
Top officials of the state Civil Aviation Department would soon travel abroad to see how seaplanes are operated there and talk with companies which are operating them.