17 months on, Chail helipad project in Himachal still to take off

17 months on, Chail helipad project in Himachal still to take off

Ambika Sharma

Tribune News Service

Solan, November 29

The development of a helipad at Jhajha village in the Chail valley remains a distant dream even 17 months after the project was approved by the state government.

On the demand of the Chail Hoteliers Association, the government had approved the project in June last year. Around 6.19 bighas of land was selected for it and various departments such as the PWD, Jal Shakti, Power, and Forest were to give no-objection certificates (NOCs) to pave the way for the transfer of land to the Tourism and Civil Aviation (TCA) Department.

Delayed NOCs to blame?

  • 6.19 bighas of land was selected for the helipad
  • Various govt departments initially dithered on giving NOCs
  • NOC from Forest Dept was received only recently
  • Hoteliers in Chail have long been vying for the project

Rati Ram, Deputy Director, Tourism and Civil Aviation, says, “Efforts are afoot to speed up the project as NOCs have been secured from various departments. This will pave the way for the transfer of 6.19 bighas at Jhajha village to the TCA Department.” Officials had initially shown promptness in executing the project and the officials of various departments had also conducted a joint inspection in June. The work, however, slowed down due to the delay in getting NOCs, the one from the Forest Department was received a few months ago.

Divisional Forest Officer, Solan, Shreshtanand says, “The Forest Department granted the NOC about two months ago though the field staff had raised objections initially as the land in question is forestland.” Kandaghat SDM Vikas Sood says all NOCs have been procured and the case has been sent for the transfer of land to the Deputy Commissioner.

Devinder Verma, president of the Chail Hoteliers Association, says, “The construction of a helipad in the Chail valley will help attract high-end tourists and uplift the area’s economy.” He laments that the project has been going on at a tardy pace and the association has been persuading officials to speed it up.

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