Former Union minister and Kangra member of Parliament (MP) Shanta Kumar on Wednesday urged the central government to rationalise airfare on the Delhi-Dharamsala route.
In a letter written to Union civil aviation minister Pusapati Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Shanta said currently there were two regular flights on the route. “Regular flights to the valley are of great importance from the tourism point of view, but the high airfares are a matter of concern,” wrote Shanta.
The system of fixing ticket prices for air travel on this route, Shanta said, was beyond comprehension, irrational and unjustifiable. The air tickets are priced starting Rs 6,000 and go beyond Rs 15,000. “Air travel on Delhi-Mumbai route is cheaper, while on the Delhi-Dharamsala route, a passenger travels at a cost almost triple than similar flights,” said Shanta, adding that he had taken up the matter with the government several times, but nothing had been done.
Shanta further said that non-availability of refuelling facility at Dharamsala airport was also one of the reasons for high airfare. He said a few oil companies were ready to set up refuelling facility, but there was no positive reaction on the government’s part.
The former minister said Dharamsala was important from the tourism point of view and, also had an international cricket stadium. “Considering these facts, the air service to the hill town should be made cheaper,” said Shanta, while hoping that the civil aviation ministry would take appropriate steps in this regard.