In a bid to promote tourism in the Northeast, the government plans to start more helicopter services to take travellers to the unexplored terrains of the area.
“We plan to start new helicopter services for barren and unexplored areas of the Northeast. The central base camp could be at Lilabri airport or Manipur. Once results from the helicopters become visible, we can even start new flights in these areas. The objective is to boost tourism in the Northeast and this can be done by strengthening connectivity,” culture and tourism minister Mahesh Sharma told Hindustan Times.
He met Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Nabam Tuki on Wednesday and had a detailed discussion on plans to develop the pilgrimage centres of the Northeast.
The first Steering Committee of the ministry, which met on Wednesday, also deliberated steps to bolster tourism in the region.
A decision was taken to increase number of heritage cities across the country from 7 to 12.
On Benaras, Sharma said, “We will soon a have sound and light show on the Ram-Kevat spiritual dialogue. Their samvad (communication) is flavoured with deep spiritual meaning which the public should understand and imbibe”.
There are also plans to start a river cruise from Allahabad to Benaras. Sharma acknowledged that several important posts in the culture ministry had been lying vacant for a long time and said they would be filled soon.
The minister said: “All of them will definitely be filled in the shortest possible time. The process has started.”
On visa on arrival he said, “We got over 32,000 VOAs since it kicked off on November 27. We sent a proposal to include five more countries including China, UK, Spain, France and Italy under the VOA”.