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Sagarmala Seaplane Services to facilitate faster and hassle-free travel across India
New Delhi, January 5, 2021
The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways proposes to kick off the ambitious Sagarmala Seaplane Services (SSPS) that is expected to be a gamechanger in facilitating faster and hassle-free travel across India.
The Ministry is initiating the process of commencing operations of the Seaplane services on select routes, under a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) framework through prospective airline operators.
The project execution and implementation would be through Sagarmala Development Company Ltd (SDCL), under the administrative control of the Ministry, an official press release said.
Several destinations are envisaged for seaplane operations. The proposed Origin-Destination pairs under Hub and Spoke model includes various islands of Andaman & Nicobar and Lakshadweep, Guwahati Riverfront and Umranso Reservoir in Assam, Yamuna Riverfront / Delhi (as Hub) to Ayodhya, Tehri, Srinagar (Uttrakhand), Chandigarh and many other tourist places of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh; Mumbai (as Hub) to Shirdi, Lonavala, Ganpatipule; Surat (as Hub) to Dwarka, Mandvi and Kandla; Khindsi Dam, Nagpur & Erai Dam, Chandrapur (in Maharashtra) and/or any other Hub & Spoke suggested by the operator.
The release said one such seaplane service is already in operation between Kevadia and Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad after being inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 31 last year.
To run more such services in the coastal areas or in proximity to water bodies, SDCL was keen to associate with the scheduled / non-scheduled airline operators. The joint development and operation of “Sagarmala Seaplane Services (SSPS)” will be undertaken by forming a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with Sagarmala Development Company Limited (SDCL).
To provide connectivity and easier accessibility to remote locations, SDCL was exploring plans to leverage the potential of the vast coastline and numerous water bodies/rivers across India by commencing seaplane operations. The seaplanes will utilize the nearby water bodies for take-off and landing and thus connect those places in a much economical way as conventional airport infrastructure like a runway and terminal buildings are not required for seaplane operations.
Apart from providing air connectivity to various remote religious/tourist places, it will boost tourism for domestic and international holidaymakers. It will save travel time and stimulate localized short distance travelling especially in the hilly regions or across the rivers/lakes etc.
Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said by providing air connectivity to numerous remote, religious/tourist places and unexplored locations near the water bodies will make the journey easier. It will generate employment opportunities and stimulate tourism on these new locations, which will consequently contribute to the country’s GDP in the long run, he added.