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Now, take aerial tour of holy town Deoghar

State civil aviation department relaunches service after three years

ranchi Updated: Jul 18, 2017 17:45 IST
Sanjoy Dey
Sanjoy Dey
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
Shravani Mela,Deoghar,Baidyanath Dham
Glider being used for "Akash Darshnam"( aerial tourism) in Deoghar(HT Photo)

Enjoy aerial tour of the religious town Deoghar in the holy month of Shravan at Rs 300 and Rs 800 for 10 minutes. The much sought after ‘Akash Darshan programme’ was relaunched from Deoghar on Monday after a gap of three years.

The first day flight received good response from the visitors, as the civil aviation department registered over 40 bookings by 11 am on Monday.

The aerial service was a big hit during Shravan in 2013, but it was withdrawn following a glider, engaged in the service, crash due to a technical snag.

The civil aviation department had tried to relaunch the service in 2016, but it did not get required permission from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). However, this year the service was given nod from the DGCA and state government after ensuring proper safety of the visitors.

Civil aviation staff at Deoghar airport said the service was launched after successful trial run on Saturday and Sunday. The service would continue till the end of Shravani Mela (August 7).

Shravani Mela, that began on July 10, is Jharkhand’s biggest socio-religious event. Around 40 lakh devotees from across the country and abroad visit Deoghar during the holy month of Shravan.

“With ‘Akash Darshan programme’ we provide exclusive opportunity to the visitors to enjoy aerial view of the religious town,” said captain SP Sinha, director, civil aviation wing.

Deoghar city, Tirkut hills, Tapovan and Mayurakshi river are some of the focus areas of the aerial tour. However, flying over the temple area is prohibited due to safety reasons. “The temple area is not allowed due to presence of birds there,” he said.

Two aircraft—Winch Launch Glider and Motor Glider—have been pressed for the service. “The cost of flying in motor glider for 10 minutes for a person is Rs 800 while the same for winch launch glider is Rs 300,” said Sanjay Pandey, Deoghar airbase in-charge. He said gliders have seating capacity of two.

The service has added another feather to the cap of Deoghar. “Flying over Deoghar is an excellent experience. Government should continue the service even after the end of Shravani mela,” said a visitor Sunil Kumar.

In 2013, the tourism department in association with the state civil aviation department and Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FJCCI), had even started a month-long air service from Ranchi to Deoghar and the cost of flying was Rs 10,999. However, the service was discontinued in 2014.

First Published: Jul 18, 2017 17:45 IST