NEW DELHI: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Monday did an e-inauguration of a 72-seat regular flight linking Jagdalpur in Bastar region with Raipur and Hyderabad, greatly shortening the time now taken by road journey.
Ministers, MPs and others attended the event via video conferencing while the Chief Minister did the inauguration from his residence in Raipur as the first flight landed from Hyderabad at the Jagdalpur-based Maa Dantewashwari Airport.
Baghel said in his address that the air services will unleash major opportunities for the development of Bastar division.
Alliance Air Bastar, an associate company of Air India, started the services on Monday.
The Chief Minister said it would take only one hour to fly from Bastar to Raipur and Hyderabad, from where one can travel anywhere in the world. Presently, it takes six hours to reach from Bastar to Raipur by road and nearly 12 hours to reach Hyderabad.
The flights will promote tourism and play a key role in medical emergencies, he said. They will also help in the development of banking and telecom sector in Bastar.
An ‘Amcho Bastar Canteen’ was opened at the airport terminal. It will be run by families affected by Naxalite violence.
The Jagdalpur airport has been developed over 57.6 hectares of area. The air strip here is 1,704 meters long and 30 meters wide.
Passenger flights will take off from Hyderabad at 9 am and reach Raipur at 12 noon, via Jagdalpur. On return, this flight will take off from Raipur at 12.30, reach Jagdalpur by 1.35 pm and land in Hyderabad around 3.40 pm.
These flights will be operated daily. Fare for Hyderabad to Jagdalpur flight is Rs 1,405 and for Jagdalpur to Raipur flight is Rs 1,270.
The foundation of Jagdalpur airport was laid in 1939 during British rule, before the Second World War.