The state government is now working round the clock to enhance and improve temple tourism. As part of many other efforts, the Andhra Pradesh government is now planning to introduce helicopter services to important temple towns from Vijayawada.
The idea is definitely going to uplift the face of tourism. Summit Aviation, a private operator, will operate the helicopter tours, while the state government will provide necessary logistical support, including ‘Darshan’ for pilgrims in important temples like Tirumala.
According to Principal Secretary (Revenue-Endowments) J S V Prasad, Summit Aviation will initially operate heli-tourism services from Vijayawada to Tirupati and Srisailam. The state government directed collectors of Krishna and Chittoor districts to build helipads in Vijayawada and Tirupati on a war footing so as to launch the copter services soon. The existing helipad at Sunnipenta near Kurnool will also be utilied for Srisailam trip.
“The government has been making efforts to connect major religious places by air and provide hassle-free ‘Darshan’, transport, accommodation and other facilities to pilgrims. The NRI community has been repeatedly requesting the government to provide air services. We have given priority to tourism in general and religious tourism in particular in view of its enormous potential to the state’s economy,” Prasad said in an order on Monday.
The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams has been asked to provide accommodation and darshan facility to the “heli-pilgrims”.
“This will promote heli-tourism, besides making darshan of Tirumala, Srisailam, Kalahasti and Tiruchanur Devasthanams easier for non-resident Telugus (NRT),” the Principal Secretary said.
The new helicopter service is going to prove highly beneficial for the senior citizens and differently-abled, who find crowded Darshans in the temples rather cumbersome due to their inner inevitable constraints.
Source – PTI