June 23: Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Shipping (I/C), reviewed the seaplane projects on Indian water bodies today in the ‘Chai pe Charcha’ meeting, a unique and innovative brainstorming meeting platform of the ministry officials to bring about the change in the Indian Maritime Sector.
Seaplane projects will provide faster and hassle free travel option for the long, treacherous and hilly regions of the country. Till now, 16 seaplane routes have been identified under Regional Connectivity Routes under UDAN scheme. Sabarmati and Sardar Sarovar- Statue of Unity route is included in these 16 sea palne routes and hydrographic surveys of this route have been completed.
Shri Mandaviya opined that Sabarmati and Narmada River-Statue of Unity seaplane route will save time and boost tourism, as it provides a bird eye view of Narmda Valley and Statue of Unity. Shri Mandaviya instructed the officials to come up with Indian Model of waterdrome (terminal), after thorough study of the Waterdrome infrastructure of the countries like the USA, Canada, Maldives and Australia which suits the Indian rules and regulations for operation of Seaplane.
After detailed deliberations, he directed Sagarmala Development Company Limited (SDCL) and Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) to join hands to commence the seaplane operation of the Sabarmati and Statue of Unity route by October, 2020. The Bathymetric and Hydrographic surveys of the seaplane routes to be undertaken by IWAI on behalf of Airport Authority of India will have to be done, latest by September 2020.
IWAI will manage the Project of Seaplane in Inland Waterways and SDCL will manage the Projects of seaplane in Coastal Areas. IWAI and SDCL will coordinate with the Ministry of Shipping, flight operators, Ministry of Tourism as well as DGCA.