Nagpur: The much touted first helicopter ride in Vidarbha, as claimed by its organisers Shivteerth Tourism and alleged Sivswarajya Airlines, is caught in the air of controversy even before it could take its first flight. It is learnt that the validity of the helicopter ride has come under scanner as it entails due permission from Aviation Department and Air Traffic Control officials. The question whether the ride operators have got necessary permissions in place is still hanging midair!
The companies have scheduled to start helicopter rides from January 24 at Shivteerth Umri dam in Saoner. As per an advertisement of the company the inauguration ceremony will be graced by the likes of Vidarbha’s top political leaders including Hansraj Ahir, former CM Devendra Fadnavis, Sunil Kedar and Chandrashekhar Bawankule.
In the advertisement, the company is said to be offering joy ride of 30 kms with full day activity and food at the cost of Rs 5500 per person. It also said that the helicopter is also available for other activities like wedding, honeymoon, birthdays, photoshoots etc.
When Nagpur Today spoke to the Chetan Kshirsagar, Manager at Shivteerth Tourism, a co-partner in the activity he expressed his ignorance towards permissions required. “As of now no such communication regarding our helicopter ride has been informed to the Aviation Department as we are just providing ground support to the operating company Shivswarajya Airlines,” he said.
When told that without aviation authorites and ATC’s nod they could not carry out any amusement helicopter ride as it will be beyond the laws, he said that so far they have sought only PWD’s permission to go ahead.
“We need to inform authorities before starting the ride,” he said. But when told they were taking up the rides on regular basis and the information to this regard must go before hand to aviation office, he said that they were now thinking of doing so!
Kshirsagar’s reply was quite baffling as any company thinking of seeking permission, and that too when only two days are left to start their operations, has certainly caught the eye of suspicion.
Nagpur Today tried to reach out to aviation authorities in Nagpur but could not contact them.
Kshisagar informed that the Sivswarajya Airlines is being promoted by a top leader of a political party and he might be aquiring necessary permission from Delhi.
Is it another goof in the air!