Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur urged the Centre to expedite the completion of formalities paving way for performing foundation stone of Airport in Mandi district at the earliest.

Thakur met the Union Minister for Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu at New Delhi on Saturday and said that an airport at Mandi will boost tourism sector in the state besides facilitating tourists with easy access to famous tourist destination of Manali and surrounding areas.

He said that state government would nominate Chief Secretary and Additional Chief Secretary Tourism for creation of a special task force to hasten up the process.

They would hold daily communication with two officers nominated by the Ministry and discuss issues for early clearances and present a weekly report to the CM as well as Union Minister, he added.

Thakur also discussed the matter of expansion of Gaggal Airport and also apprised the minister that co-operation of Centre was needed to accelerate the pace of the Regional Connectivity Scheme UDAAN-II.

He also requested for permission to use other airports of the state for the same.

Suresh Prabhu assured the CM of active support of the Ministry and added that a Central team had already visited the airport site immediately after the request for the airport had been made by the CM earlier.

He directed the officers for creation of Task Force immediately and to present the report so that all formalities could be completed within two months. He also asked the officers to resolve other issues taken up by the CM immediately.