The Tripura government will operate a helicopter service for Durga Puja revelers to enable them to get an aerial view of tourist spots and celebrations, a transport official said on Tuesday.
The chopper service, run by the government-owned Tripura Road Transport Corporation (TRTC), will be in the form of 20-25 minute long trips in and around Agartala from Tuesday.
There will be six sorties in a day.
“For sightseeing and witnessing Durga Puja, the per head fare for an adult is Rs 1,700 and for children below 12 years it is Rs 1,500,” the TRTC official said.
“The rides would be conducted in eight-seater double-engine choppers of Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd. The rides would be conducted for three days from Tuesday.”
Sponsored by the Union Home Ministry, the chopper service has been subsidized by the government.
The state-owned Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd has also been operating in the other mountainous northeastern states at a subsidized rate.
Meanwhile, Tripura State Electricity Corporation Chairman-cum-Managing Director Mahananda Debbarma said that to maintain uninterrupted electricity supply during the five-day puja period, additional power would be taken from the central grid, Assam, and Meghalaya.
“Despite huge demand of power (500 MW) during Durga Puja festivities, Tripura would maintain a supply of 160 MW of power to Bangladesh as this is the national commitment,” he told the media.
Director General of Tripura Police Akhil Kumar Shukla said that vigil along the India-Bangladesh border and in trouble-torn areas has been increased with the deployment of additional central paramilitary and state security personnel.
Paramilitary forces Border Security Force (BSF), Assam Rifles and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), along with the Tripura State Rifles, have intensified security to foil any attempt to disturb peace and harmony during the festivities.
CCTVs and metal detectors have been installed near the puja pandals (marquees) and other sensitive locations while over 10,000 security personnel and quick reaction teams besides bomb and dog squads have been deployed across Tripura.
Police pickets have been set up at important and strategic locations and mobile and foot patrolling have been initiated along with intelligence networks.
According to Shukla, 2,527 community and about 100 family pujas, including approximately 1,570 in the rural and interior areas, are being organized in Tripura this year — a figure higher than last year.