Let&rsquos be honest, did you ever see an action movie as a kid where assault helicopters turn up to vanquish all their foes in an instant or an actor/actress making a grand entrance in a blockbuster by stepping down from a helicopter/seaplane while a humdrum background track attempted to create some hype Well I did, and boy what an impressionable sight that was for a growing child I would stop short of calling it my life&rsquos dream, but ever since I caught glimpses of Black Hawk Down, which my father was thoroughly enjoying, I would be lying if I didn&rsquot admit that I have always wanted to travel in a helicopter and seaplane. This dream of mine and I&rsquom sure several others is soon to become an achievable reality
Soon, six water aerodrome sites are set to spring up across the country as part of the Regional Connectivity Scheme administered under Prime Minister Modi &ndash UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik). This means, long last you shall have the opportunity to spread your wings and let your dreams fly (Pun intended).
This was verified by Minister of State for Shipping, Pon Radhakrishnan, who whilst responding to a written query in Lok Sabha stated that six such sites were to crop up soon. The sites that have been reportedly identified are the Statue of Unity (Sardar Sarovar Dam), Guwahati River Front, Sabarmati River Front, Nagarjuna Sagar, Shatrunjay Dam and Umrangso Reservoir. The mister of State for Shipping also added, &ldquoThere is no proposal so far to start seaplane and helicopter operations on 1,680 km length of Ganga river for passenger transport&rdquo.
This notion was recently backed by the Shipping and Road Transport Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari who is keen on commencing such services in India and is of the belief that the country has the potential to implement 10,000 such seaplanes. He went on to say, &ldquoWe have 3 to 4 lakh ponds in India, plenty of dams, 2,000 river ports, 200 small ports and 12 major ports. It will cost less". Citing the ease with which this may be implemented.
While this will surely be a boost to the travel industry, adding alternate modes of transport and creating room for further employment, the environmental ramifications of this decision are yet to be assessed.