Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Tuesday asked the British Deputy High Commissioner Chandigarh Caroline Rowett to take up the issue with British High Commissioner to India for starting direct flights to and fro between London and Chandigarh on top priority.
Taking part in the deliberations, Rowett – who paid a courtesy call to the Chief Minister at his official residence this afternoon – said she would certainly take up this matter with British High Commissioner to start these flights to facilitate the Punjabi diaspora settled in UK besides people residing in neighbouring states to enable them to have a seamless journey to Punjab and UK.
She also congratulated Mann for securing a massive mandate for the formation of the state government under his stewardship, an official spokesperson said.
Emphasising the need of immediate direct air link between Chandigarh and London, the CM said Chandigarh International Airport caters to the growing demand of the people of neighbouring states of Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir besides Chandigarh.
He, however, said the Chandigarh Airport has the basic facilities for handling the wide bodied aircrafts like Boeing 777 equipped with CAT-IIB instrument landing system besides latest airport infrastructure for handling international flights.
Apprising the CM about the latest technologies to combat the menace of straw burning and bio waste management, Rowett evinced keen interest for technology transfer in these fields as UK has the time tested and the most advanced expertise to effectively handle these crucial issues.
She also informed Mann that the UK has certain advanced Post Graduate courses which could be run in collaboration with some local universities and prestigious institutions of higher education to enable the state youth to be gainfully employed across the globe.
The spokesperson said Rowett also expressed her keen desire to tie up with the State Sports University to start a few latest courses on mutual basis to equip students from both the sides with the advanced courses in sports to promote sports education in sports sciences, sport technology, sports management and sports coaching by adopting best international practices.
Assuring fulsome support and cooperation to the visiting delegation, Mann said the state government would welcome these initiatives to ensure holistic development of Punjab in a meaningful manner. Both Chief Minister and Caroline Rowett also discussed several other issues of mutual interest. Earlier, Rowett also presented a mango sapling to the Chief Minister as a token of respect and goodwill gesture.