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Jammu (Jammu & Kashmir), February 18 - 2013 - Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, today approved a marginal hike in the Helicopter fare on Katra-Sanjichhat-Katra Sector from the existing Rs. 699/- one way per passenger to Rs. 800/- per passenger for one journey with immediate effect. The increase has been because of the escalation in the operational cost, particularly fuel costs.
Disclosing this, Additional Chief Executive Officer, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, informed that both the Operators viz. Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd. and Global Vectra Helicorp Ltd. had, for the past several months, been requesting for hike in the Helicopter fare in terms of the Board’s Agreement with both the Operators. The demand is based on the increase in the cost of inputs, particularly the Aviation Turbine Fuel.
The current fare of the Helicopter tickets, during the present contract period of April, 2011 to March, 2014, is substantially lower than that which was earlier. Earlier, a one way ticket for an adult passenger used to cost Rs. 1225/-; this had come down to Rs. 699/- per side w.e.f. 1-4-2011.
Sources also informed that after due examination and appreciation of the requests made by the Helicopter service providers by a Committee which reached conclusion that the fare of the Helicopter tickets is low and the rates need to be rationalized in view of the overall inflationary trend in the market and the cost of inputs including manpower, fuel and transportation etc. has gone up substantially in last one year.
It was interesting to note that even the charges for traveling by pony from Katra to Bhawan are higher i.e. Rs. 700/-, as per the order of Deputy Commissioner Reasi dated 26.12.2012.
Official sources said that the new rates shall be applicable w.e.f. 19.02.2013. All the tickets booked on-line w.e.f 19.02.2013 as well as the tickets available on current basis from 19.02.2013 shall be priced at Rs. 800/- per passenger per side.
However, those who have booked tickets in advance, need not pay any extra amount.