Heli taxi service linking remote areas in H.P.

Fragile nature of the Himalaya and cost involved minimize the feasibility of road building, especially at higher altitudes and in remote areas. However, helicopters are one of relatively economical substitutes to roads and rails. In 2010-11, Himachal Pradesh, nestled in the mountain, introduced heli taxi service to link the remote areas. The state government authorized the following companies to facilitate heli taxi transport:

Ludhiana-based Shiva Heli Services flies on Manali-Bhuntar-Manali and Manali-Rohtang Pass-Manali routes. As of 2011, Manali-Bhuntar fare amounts to INR 5,000.00, whereas the fare forManali-RohtangPass taxi is INR 6,500.00. The company also sells a joyride package, Manali-Valley Ferry. Fare for a 5-minute joyride aggregates INR 2,000.00 and that of 10-minute is INR 3,500.00.

Shiva offers special heli services for Manimashesh Yatra during August-September. The 10-minute helicopter service starts from Bharmour and drops you at Gauri Kund. From the Kund, you can walk up to the shrine, which is less than one kilometer. You can also board a helicopter from Chamba to the Kund, a 20-minute flight. In 2011, the fare was INR 7,500.00 for Bharmour-Gaurikund-Bharmour chopper flight and INR 12,500.00 for Chamba –Gauri Kund-Chamba chopper service.

Mumbai-based Simm Samm Airways Pvt. Ltd. covers Kullu-Manali, Manali-Koksar, Manali-Sissu, Manali-Tandi (DIET), Tandi-Udaipur and Udaipur-Killar routes. The duration of these flights varies from 15 to 35 minutes and fare ranges from INR 4,000.00-10,000.00 as of 2011.

Simm Samm also offers Manimahesh Yatra chopper service between Bharmour and Gauri Kund. The return fare aggregates INR 7,500.00 per person, whereas one-way fare is INR 4,000.00 inclusive of taxes as of 2011.

Mumbai-based Mesco Airlines Ltd linksChandigarh airport to Dharamsala and Shimla toChandigarh, Tabo, Kaza and Reckong Peo.

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