Shimla: Looking for expanding skiing facilities in Kinnaur, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on a visit to the highlands announced exploring the possibility of constructing an air strip at Chaka heights overlooking Kalpa village.
Speaking at a function in at Kalpa, the old district headquarter of tribal Kinnaur, the chief minister said that the government would approach the central government for conducting a survey to develop a high altitude air strip in the area.
The case for developing Chaka slopes for skiing and a major winter sports destination would be explored by the state government, he said.
He said the natural beauty of Kinnaur was attracting a lot of tourists from the world over, each year, and to bring in high end tourists, an air strip was a necessary for quicker and better connectivity.
Such an airstrip could also serve the countryâ€™s strategic interests because of the districts borders lie on the Indo-Tibet international boundary and could be useful for military purposes, said Dhumal.
On the occasion, the chief minister also laid a foundation stone for an helipad that would be constructed at a cost of Rs 1.50 crore.
The proposed helipad would facilitate landing of chartered helicopter flights besides coming handy in evacuating those in emergency situations or during winterâ€™s months, he said.
Mentioning the old silk trade route that passed through Kinnaur, Dhumal said that the state had advocated opening of the pilgrimage route to Mansarovar lake in Tibet through Kinnaur which was not only shorter than the existing one from Kumaon area but also a safer one.
The chief minister was accompanied by horticulture minister Narender Bragta and deputy speaker RR Kaundal. Those who spoke on the occasion included Kinnaur legislator Tejwant Negi.
Earlier, a foundation stone of a Polytechnic college campus to be developed at a cost of Rs 10 crore was also laid by the chief minister.