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Heli service in Himalaya (19th Jan 2016) : The heli taxi service for Himalayan Darshan was launched on Monday by tourism minister Dinesh Dhane from the Gualapur helipad in Haldwani. The first flight from Haldwani to Munsyari (in Pithoragarh district – 300 kilometres by road) took off on Monday with four passengers.

Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN), state government agency, is promoting the heli taxi service to give fillip to tourism in the state.

Earlier, the state government had launched a helicopter ride for the Jheel darshan of the Nainital lake. Tourism minister said that the heli taxi service would go a long way in promoting the tourisn in this region. The service would initially operate on a daily basis for a week and charges if any would be decided after a review. The helicopters would be stationed in Dharchula during the monsoon for any emergency requirement as the roads remain cut off during rains.

The single passenger fare is Rs. 17,175 which includes to and fro charges. However, children below 2 years would be exempted. The helicopter from Haldwani would reach Munsyari in 40 minutes and return after an hour. As of now, the nigam has engaged private chopper for the taxi services. The number of helicopters will go up depending on the success of the new service.

Nainital district magistrate said that he was hopeful the heli taxi service would not only become a popular means of transport for tourists but also increase the revenue and tourism facilities.

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 The Char Dhams of Uttarakhand