In an ultimate step for commencement of air service to Kargil, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Monday himself flew in a Mantra Aircraft from Jammu to Kargil to oversee the final preparedness for a regular and commercial air service to this mountainous and remote area of the State which remains cut-off during winter.
Minister for Health, Sham Lal Sharma, Minister for CAPD, Qamar Ali Akhoon, Advisor to Chief Minister Mubarak Gul, President J&K Pradesh Congress Committee, Prof. Saif-ud-Din Soz and Principle Secretary to Chief Minister B. B. Vyas were accompanying the Chief Minister.
Speaking at a function at Kargil, the Chief Minister highlighted the importance of a regular service for this area for communication and tourism. He said such a service is all the more required keeping in view the winter severity in the area along with blockade of Highway for months.
Emphasizing the need for putting in place all statutory requirements and safety measures for starting flights to Kargil, the Chief Minister said that he would take up the issue of subsidizing the air fare for commoners so that they are able to utilize the service especially during winter months.
Omar Abdullah said that after launch of construction of Z-Morh tunnel and decision to bore Zojila tunnel this year, the air service to Kargil is yet another good news for the people of this district. He referred to his endeavour made in this direction and expressed gratitude to Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi, All India Congress General Secretary, Rahul Gandhi and State NC and Congress leadership for paving the way for launch of regular air service to Kargil.
“I am the most fortunate Chief Ministers of the State that a historic event of air service to Kargil is taking place in my tenure for which so many Chief Ministers cherished and worked”, he said appreciating the Mantra Airlines for coming forward to start a regular air service to Kargil from Jammu. He underlined the need for a similar service from Srinagar and said that it would open the area for global tourism.