Air deccan has started the flights to Shimla, Kullu and Dharamsala. With the advent of low cost airlines, the travel is becoming more and more cheaper and affordable. Some parts of himachal still remain unaccessible for air travel. Particularly the areas in the districts of Mandi, Bilaspur, and Hamirpur. A summary of distances from these places to the nearest airport is given below.
1. Hamirpur – Dharamsala ~ 100 km
2. Hamirpur – Sundernagar ~ 100 km (Sundernagar, a proposed site for new airport)
3. Mandi – Bhuntar ~65 km
4. Bilaspur – shimla ~ 90 km
5. Bilaspur – Chandigarh ~140 km
6. Bilaspur – Bhuntar ~ 130 km.
Considering the facts that the distances of the nearest airports are more than 100 Kms from these main cities. Which easily translates into a journey of 5 – 6 hours, thus discouraging various business and other industrial activities. We should try to make a proposal of a new airport which is somewhere in the center of these three districts. So that the people from these districts could get much better connectivity with the rest of the India.
To my mind a place by name “Jahoo” or some other place central to these three districts could be a better choice. Because the distance of this place is as follows.
1. Hamirpur – Jahoo = 41 Km
2. Bilaspur – Jahoo = 46 Km
3. Mandi – Jahoo = 51 Km
Incidently, I happened to meet Dr. Kota (Ex head of LCA), who was quite instrumental in the activities related to air connectivity of various far flung places. He also praised the recent developments related to flower production in Himachal pradesh. He also stressed on the need of better connectivity to these places to ensure that the agricultural/fruit produce from HP gets a good market in Delhi as well abroad.
Comments on this issue are welcome.