Access to Himachal through air- New airport in Jahoo

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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.

Born in Bilaspur, Dr. Vatsayayan is at present working as a Assistant Professor at Aerospace Engineering Department of IIT, Mumbai, India.

14 Comments

  • Avnish Katoch says:

    Please tell more about Jahoo and what all are the facilities and capabilities of the place to hold an airport. Also tell more about Dr. Kota and how he can help in this effort.

  • Avnish Katoch says:

    Can you arrange to present this place in better way, the person interested should be able to see the area.

    Dr. Kota:
    Padma Shri Dr. Kota Harinarayana
    Raja Ramanna Fellow, NAL
    Former Programme Director & Chief Designer of LCA   (IAF flight)
    Former Vice-Chancellor of Univ. of Hyderabad

    Dr. Kota Harinarayana was born in Berhampur, Orissa, in 1943 and graduated from BHU in Mechanical Engineering, post-graduate in Aero Engineering at IISc, Bangalore. He did his Ph.D. at IIT Bombay and also he is holding a Bachelor’s degree in Law.

    He started his career in 1967 at HAL. He moved to DRDO HQ in 1970 till 1982 and held various positions. He rejoined HAL in 1982 as Chief Designer in Nasik Division. He was deputed to DRDO in 1985 and assumed charge as Director, ADE, Bangalore. He was appointed as LCA Programme Director in December 1985 and he was concurrently holding the post of Director, ADE till June 1986. During 1995 he was elevated as Distinguished Scientist by DRDO. As Programme Director and Chief Designer of Light Combat Aircraft, he successfully directed the project leading to flight testing and clearance for limited series production. Thanks to his efforts, India succeeded in developing a state-of-art, high technology fighter aircraft of world class.

    He is the Fellow of Aeronautical Society of India (former President of the Society) and Indian National Academy of Engineering. He received distinguished alumnus award from Aerospace Department, IISc in 1993 and from IIT Bombay in 1995. He was awarded National Aeronautics Prize and FIE Foundation Award in 1996. He received SBI-Pragna Puraskar in 2001. He received the Dr. Y. Nayudamma Memorial Award for 2001. He received the DRDO Technology Leadership Award for 2001. He was honoured with Padma Shri by Government of India in 2002. He received Gujar Mal Modi Science foundation award for the year 2006.

    At present he is the Raja Ramanna Fellow at National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore. He was formerly Vice-Chancellor of University of Hyderabad till 15 July, 2005. He is also Chairman, Research Council, Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO), Chandigarh; Chairman, Governing Council, Society for Indo-German Institute of Advanced Technology, Visakhapatnam, Distinguished Guest Professor, Department of Aerospace Engineering, IIT-Bombay.

  • sudar says:

    The place “Jahoo’ is centrally located to these three districts and could serve as a central hub for a larger area and population. It is well connected with good roads too all the places. Another interesting point, which is probably advantageous is that in this area, the overall height of the hills is comparatively less.
    Which would probably mean that the “unit investment required” (investment required divided by the total population) will be much less compared to other places.
    About the role of Dr. Kota, he could be made the chairman/member of the expert board to choose a suitable location for the airport.

  • Avnish Katoch says:

    Sudarshan Ji,

    Thats one step which should be done after there is interest from government. We all know HP has a debt which is rising like anything and this is the main reason HP government is unable to do many things but at the same time they also need to explore other avenues for development, like privatization of airports etc. But problem is how many people from HP govt. listen to people, how many government officials participate in discussions like these. Till the time they come on platforms like these I don’t see much change. But then our job is to keep pushing and presenting the best picture so that they one day become aware. So lets keep this discussion rolling and keep bringing awareness by bringing thoughts and guidance of experts and hopefully govt. would be awake one day!

  • Bhawani says:

    That’s sounds really great. That will give an easy access to Himachal’s districts like Mandi Bilaspur Hamirpur and even Una. But as our HO govt not able to complete a railway track to Bilaspur which is already in progress for ages I really doubt project like this can take off.
    Still If this happens this will be really great.

  • sudar says:

    I can discuss the issue with Dr. Kota and ensure that he agrees to explore the possibilities related to this project. But govt has to show some interest in the project. If one refers to the 2001 census (available on HP Govt site), then approximately 18 lakhs of people are expected to benefit from this project. Which accounts for approximately 30% of the total himachal’s population (Considering Mandi, Bilaspur, Hamirpur and parts of Una) is expected to benefit from this project.

  • sunil dutt says:

    My son is 10 year studing in class V. He wants to join army. please suggest how can I proceed for his admission

  • First step could be to get your son admission in Sainik School or Military school. They have higher rates of churning defense officers. We have details about Sainik School Sujanpur Tihra: http://himachal.us/2006/06/23/sainik-school-sujanpur-tihra/519/himachal-schools/akshu_m

    If you are not interested in sending to school then at 9th-10th standard you can start coaching him for competitive exams, one good way is to subscribe to good magazines, like CSR: http://www.competitionreview.com/index.asp

    Then there are many coaching schools also where you can send him during 11th grade in holidays for 1-2 months training. Please let us know if you need more information.

  • Narender says:

    Dear Sir

    Its going to a milestone for the development of three districs in one shot. We can look forward for many industries in the area owing to the reasons that there a abundance of Manpoer / Itellectual strength … Once the Airport is in Place all segments will grow .

    Kindly boos the idea at levels .

    regards

  • Narender Nadda says:

    To : The People Of Himachal Pradesh .

    My dear Fellows , Airport at ” Jahoo” it sounds like an eye-opener to Planners and leaders in Himachal since it benefits a larger share of state’s population . I belong to a native village of Jahoo and my appeal to all intellectuals of the society that lets come out the regional bias and propose to build an airport at the centrally located place . The place is located at administrative border of Three districts Namely Hamirpur , Mandi and Bilaspur . None of the leader has been so effective in past thus this area is highly neglected Area. Even during BJP rule the Highway between Jalandhar Mandi was re-routed through Bamsan , Dharampur however the shortest proposed distance was to connect “Nerchowk to Jalandhar Through UNA and Bhota”. The credit for this unwise decision goes to Be then Chief Minister and PWD Minister .

    Lets not hijack the issue and be concentrate on current issue of proposed airport at Jahoo ,
    WHY “JAHOO”

    A) Drifting it on the bank of “Jabothi ” river All three district H.O falls between 43 to 48 KMS
    B) It extends benefit to 25% population of State
    c) This area has lesser FOG .
    D) This area is a suitable point to be developed as SEZ owing to CG ( Centre of Gravity ) point on Population Scale to curb unemployment problem . Thus an Airport closely located will Globalize the SEZ.
    E) Three streams are flowing through the town which can be developed into Tourist Places . These can even serve the purpose to provide drinking water / industrial water needs to SEZ.

    I request to every intellectual of the state to strongly propose the establishment of this airport in a record time . All readers are expected to write about this project to CM of H.P through Govt. Website.

    Kindly log on http://www.himachal.nic.in

    Post your comment to CM Through a link ” Write to CM ”

    Thanking you.

    regards

    N.P.Sharma

    [email protected]

  • AB says:

    Most of government actions are contrary to best planning proposals.
    Airports in himalaya, both himachal and uttranchal are live example of this wrong decisions.
    Old established models of government (state or central) failed to deliver.
    New models have delivered. e.g. Konkan Railways, Delhi Metro, NHAI, NTPC etc.
    It is high time himcahal govt starts own railway, own helicopter service, own airports (w/o central govt or Airport Authority).
    The state taking lead in innovation and implementation are all set to grow. Others will lack.

  • Chaman lal says:

    Maine suna hai ki bilaspur distt. may airport banga kya ya such hai

  • Rajesh Verma says:

    Jahu is the suitable place for jahu Dr sudarshan G u are well written fact and finding about this place.

  • Rajesh Kumar Gautam says:

    Jahu is the suitable & center place for air port Dr sudarshan was well written fact and finding about this place.

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