In the next financial year, tourists will enjoy flights to visit the Taj and rich cultural heritage of Rajputs in Rajasthan. The Ministry of Civil Aviation will announce the routes under its ambitious Regional Connectivity Scheme on Wednesday and according to sources, the air service to these destinations will start by March-April.
“The tendering process is almost complete and we will announce the routes on Wednesday,” said a senior officer in Union Ministry of Civil Aviation.
In response to the regional connectivity scheme, the ministry, according to sources, has received interest of expression from 11 companies for around 240 routes.
The ministry has invited applications from airlines to start flight operations for 16 underserved and 398 un-served airports in the country.
These airports are owned by Airports Authority of India, Military Civil Enclave, State Governments and other agencies.
“We have received bids for 283 routes out of which 240 routes have been identified as Regional Connectivity Scheme routes. The process of counter bidding is continuing to take the final decision,” said the officer.
Presently, the tourist operators charge around Rs 7,500 – Rs 8,000 for an up and down journey from New Delhi to Agara which also includes Mathura- Vrindavan.
“Generally, tourists visit both Mathura and Agara but if the party is interested in Agara only we negotiate on slightly lower rates," said Rajender Son, a taxi operator in New Delhi. As the air travel time for Agra will be less than an hour, the ticket price will be Rs 2,500.
In such a case, for three persons, the flights will be cheaper. Furthermore, the journey will be safer than travelling on Yamuna Expressway, which has become infamous for fatal accidents and also from better from alternative routes which are jam packed.
The road connectivity to Rajasthan via National Highway 8 is often marred with poor quality and traffic jam. In the first stage, services will be started to Agara, Jaisalmer, Badmer, Bhav Nagar, Kanpur, Gorakhpur etc.