West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Monday that the State Government was planning to introduce helicopter services on Haldia-Digha and Kolkata-Diamond Harbour-Raichak routes.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Pawan Hans Ltd (PHL) and the State Government was signed on Monday to provide helicopter services in the State.

Announcing the agreement, Banerjee said services could be started on Haldia-Digha and Kolkata-Diamond Harbour-Raichak routes initially. According to her, services to places like Malda, Balurghat may also be added since there are airstrips there.

As part of the MoU, PHL, a Government of India enterprise, and West Bengal would jointly develop infrastructure and connectivity for helicopter services.

“We have not finalised on the route-map yet. We would like to start off with two helicopters. But, we need to study the market first to see the demand,” Anil Srivastav, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, Pawan Hans, said.

According to the Chief Minister, the State Government may offer subsidy on initial trips to promote the service.

(This article was published on March 18, 2013)
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