IMPHAL: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) granted permission for helicopter services to operate between conflict-affected regions in Manipur, Nagaland, and Mizoram, on August 14.
To boost accessibility and connectivity between violence-affected zones, the services would be operational on the Churachandpur-Aizawl and Kangpokpi/Senapati-Dimapur routes, according to an official order.
The permission is expected to facilitate smoother movement for residents of the affected areas and contribute to regional integration. Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram, and Dimapur, the commercial hub of Nagaland, are the focal points of these routes, the order added.
“In principle approval is granted for additional flying hours to the state in case the existing ceiling limit of 750 flying hours per annum is exceeded due to the operation of these two new routes given the extraordinary circumstances. However, specific proposal for enhancement of flying hours may be submitted to MHA, if so required,” the official stated.
The Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF), a representative body of the Kuki-Zo community, played a role in advocating for the establishment of these new helicopter routes. During Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to Manipur on May 30, the ITLF delegation highlighted the need for improved connectivity through chopper services.
Presently, passenger helicopter services operate between Imphal and Churachandpur, as well as Jiribam in Manipur, contributing to enhanced intra-state mobility.
The introduction of helicopter services between these regions is expected to provide a significant impetus towards fostering connectivity, easing the movement of people, and potentially contributing to stability and harmony in the wake of ongoing three-month-long unrest.