Centre’s nod to expansion of Bhuntar airport elates hoteliers : The Tribune India

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Centre’s nod to expansion of Bhuntar airport elates hoteliers

MANDI:Hoteliers of Kullu and Manali are happy after the Centre has given its approval to expand the Bhuntar airport in Kullu district.



Dipender Manta

Tribune News Service

Mandi, October 25

Hoteliers of Kullu and Manali are happy after the Centre has given its approval to expand the Bhuntar airport in Kullu district. 

The expansion of the airport in Kullu district is a pending demand of hoteliers as well as those associated with the tourism industry.

Due to short runway, an aircraft fully packed with passengers cannot land or take off. It forces them to pay a hefty amount for travelling between Delhi and Kullu.

Air-India is providing a flight between Delhi and Kullu. The 70-seater aircraft can only carry the maximum 40 passengers because of the short runway. As a result, the passengers have to pay up to Rs 16,000 for one side.

Anup Thakur, president of the Hoteliers Association Kullu-Manali, said, “We welcome the decision of the government. In the past, technical committees had visited the Bhuntar airport several times for its expansion, but nothing has been done.”

“The expansion will give a boost to the tourism industry. The government should start the work soon,” he remarked.

Mandi MP Ram Swaroop Sharma said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given a Diwali gift to Himachal by giving the approval to the construction of an airport of international standards at Mandi and expansion of Bhuntar, Kangra and Shimla airports.

He said the expenditure on the expansion of Shimla and Kangra airports would be borne by the Union Civil Aviation Ministry and a team of the Airport Authority of India would visit the Bhuntar airport to conduct a survey for its expansion.

The people of Mandi district were also delighted with the announcement. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur is already working hard to promote tourism in Mandi.

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