Adityanath wants wings to religious tourism in Uttar Pradesh


Pradesh has approached the Centre seeking its nod to allow air connectivity between its cities, mostly of religious importance.

Among other proposals from Uttar Pradesh are air connectivity between its towns such as Varanasi, Kushinagar, Meerut, Allahabad.

Uttar Pradesh ministers Sidharth Nath Singh and Nand Gopal Gupta met Union minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha in New Delhi on Thursday with the proposal.

Jayant Sinha is expected to meet Adityanath in Lucknow on June 14 to discuss the matter and sort out issues.

Uttar Pradesh currently has major airports at Varanasi and Lucknow. Another at Allahabad is operated by the Indian Air Force and one more at Gorakhpur that has limited flights.

It has now proposed two circuits – Buddha and Ganga Darshan – under a new scheme of the Centre that promotes cheaper air connectivity between small towns.

It wants to cover cities like Varanasi, Kushinagar, Sarnath, Bodh Gaya (in Bihar) under the Buddha circuit and Varanasi and Allahabad under Ganga Darshan. “We have proposed fixed-wing as well as helicopter services between cities,” Singh said.

Among other routes that the Uttar Pradesh government is exploring for air service are Lucknow-Gorakhpur, Meerut-Allahabad and Varanasi-Lucknow.

Launched on April 27, 2017, UDAN features flights to underserved smaller towns in which a certain number of seats will be subsidized – Rs 2,500 for an hour-long flight, and fares going up pro-rata for longer distances – according to a government press release. For instance, a subsidised Shimla-Delhi ticket is priced at Rs 2,036, and operated by Alliance Air, an Air India subsidiary.


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