Air taxi operations in Madhya Pradesh likely to resume by early July
Air taxi operations, connecting smaller towns and cities in Madhya Pradesh, that were suspended in September last year are likely to resume by early July.
Supreme Transport, the company that has bagged the contract for the air taxi service, has stated that the aircraft leased for the purpose will arrive in India within 2 weeks.
After the aircraft goes through the mandatory checks by regulator director general of civil aviation (DGCA), the services are likely to take off from early July.
“We have leased an aircraft for operations in Madhya Pradesh. Once the aircraft arrives in India within the next 2 weeks and required clearances are accorded, the services can commence from around end June or early July. All other preparations to commence operations are in place,” said the CEO of Supreme Transport Amit Agarwal.
The state government has changed some of the features of the air taxi services after previous contract holder Air Ventura’s term expired.
For one, the state government will not underwrite 3 out of the 9 seats on every flight.
Instead it will subsidise part of the per hour flying cost subject to maximum of Rs 1 crore per month.
Under the new contract, the operator has to connect at least 4 cities in MP.
Considering this clause, it is likely that Bhopal, Jabalpur, Indore and Gwalior would be connected by the service.
Under the amended contract, the operator can also fly to cities in neighouring states like Raipur and Jaipur thereby giving inter-state air connectivity. The contract would be in force for 3 years.
In the previous contract, the state government had spent about Rs 6 crore in underwriting 3 seats on each flight and another Rs 2 crore in subsidising VAT on aviation turbine fuel (ATF).
The subsidy could be higher this time, considering the state government could shell out Rs 1 crore a month.
The operator will use a 9-seater Cessna aircraft, the same which the previous operator used as well.
Sources in the state government said that the MoU between the state government and Supreme Transport was inked on April 23.
“The operator can fly to other states but whether he will do it depends on viability,” said a senior state government official.
IKEA, the Swedish-founded, Dutch-headquartered multinational conglomerate, saw huge crowds in Bengaluru and a bumper weekend. This was also the fist weekend since the firm - that sells and designs ready-to-assemble furniture - opened the Karnataka capital's first store for the public. This happens to be the fourth store, however, for India - other stores are in Hyderabad, Navi Mumbai and Worli. Expectedly, the firm said it was "overwhelmed".
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday said his government has prepared a plan to promote natural farming on 50,000 acres of land. He said that farmers having land below 2.5 acres will be provided 50% subsidy for buying indigenous cows if they voluntarily adopt natural farming. Haryana agriculture minister JP Dalal said that 700 agriculture development officers will be recruited soon to provide better assistance to the farmers.
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday launched state narcotics control bureau's 'Mission Drug Free Haryana' on the occasion of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illegal Trafficking. He said that to keep youths away from drugs, 1,100 sport nurseries will be set up in the state and Haryana will soon emerge as a sports hub of the country with 1,000 coaches and yoga teachers.
One person was killed and Sandeep Kumar's mother got injured in an accident that led to a pileup in Fatehabad on Sunday, said police. The accident took place when Sandeep Kumar along with his mother Maya Devi was going to Fatehabad.
Reiterating its demand to revoke Agnipath scheme, the Congress on Sunday said the new recruitment policy was yet another ill-conceived disruption by the Centre that will create new problems for India's national security. “This government acts first, and then starts thinking. Many amendments have already been made in the last few days, but the youth of the country are demanding its complete rollback,” said Ranjeet Ranjan, Congress' Rajya Sabha MP, in a news conference here.