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MHA nods to chopper service between Lamka and Aizawl

Aizawl: Ministry of Home Affairs has given permission to commence interstate helicopter service between Lamka (Churachandpur) in southern Manipur and Aizawl, the state capital of Mizoram.

Under Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs Prem Prakash conveyed the permission to operate interstate helicopter service under the existing 75 per cent Helicopter Subsidy Scheme to the Manipur Chief Secretary on August 11.

The Ministry also conveyed the permission for helicopter service between Kangpokpi/Senapati in Manipur and Dimapur in Nagaland.

However, Principal Consultant of the state Civil Aviation wing, Wing Commander Joe Lalhmingliana told Zoram Chronicle on Monday that they are yet to receive any communication from the MHA till date.

“We have to be informed if the helicopter service is permitted to land and take off in and out of Aizawl as it involves several logistics including security concerns,” Lalhmingliana said.

The helicopter service between Lamka and Imphal, commenced earlier after the ethnic strife in the neighbouring state was rendered almost redundant as there has been geographic and demographic division was already in place with the majority Meitei people not daring to enter ethnic Mizo inhabited areas in the Manipur hills and vice versa.

Inhabitants of Lamka who are destined to Delhi or other places have to first travel by road to Aizawl, which is a 370-km journey on hilly roads, to catch flight from Lengpui Airport here.

Delegation of the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) who went to Delhi to hold talks with Union Home Minister during the first part of August had to do the same.

One ITLF representative said that, given the prevailing circumstances, opting for a helicopter flight or a road trip from Lamka to Imphal would be akin to risking one’s life.

He said that helicopter service between Lamka and Aizawl is welcomed as it can also be very useful for ferrying sick and injured people from the Manipur hill areas to Mizoram. 

The ITLF delegation urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah for the helicopter service between Lamka and Aizawl during the latter’s visit to Lamka and reminded him during their recent visit to Delhi, he added. 

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