On Saturday, several media portals reported that passengers would now be charged for availing helicopter services during rescue operations. It was reported that the Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority (UCADA) issued a notification stating that charges for each passenger availing helicopters in Pithoragarh, during rescue operations at the time of disaster, will be fixed at Rs 3,100 (including GST). Same was shared multiple times over social media.
This “news” was met with a lot of outrage from various quarters. However, now the Uttarakhand government has come ahead and clarified that people don’t need to pay for availing these services in times of disaster. Even UCADA, on its official website, has posted a clarification.
In a statement, the Uttarakhand government said, “It is being circulated by some people on the social media that the Uttarakhand government is charging for helicopter services from the disaster-affected people in Pithoragarh. This is to clarify in this regard that the said news is completely misleading.”
Saying that the facts are being twisted, Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat said that two helicopters, one each in Garhwal and Kumaon, have been stationed and that evacuees will not be charged for availing its services at the time of disaster.
CM Rawat also tweeted that the stationed choppers can also be used during non-emergency times to ferry general passengers from Dharchula to Gunji & back at around Rs 3500 per person.
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