Mandi member of Parliament Mrs. Pratibha Singh demanded the restoration of original runway length of 4100 feet (1189 meters ,width 23 meters) at Shimla airport. She told that the effective length of the airport has been reduced to 3800 feet because of soil erosion.
She demanded a sum of Rs. 142.70 crore for restoration of basic strip and arresting the soil erosion at the airport. She told that a feasibility study in this regard was conducted by IIT Roorkee and meeting in this regard was also held in the Ministry of Civil Aviation but no action was taken, which is a matter of concern for the state government.
She told that Airport Authority of India has recently engaged M/S Rites as consultant for exploring measures for restoration and widening of the airstrip of the runway as well as to prevent soil erosion. She requested the union minister Mr. Ajit Singh to direct airport authority of India to take up restoration works at the earliest and also requested him to release the funds for its restoration.
Mrs. Pratibha Singh requested the union minister to order the pre-feasibility survey for the Kandaghat green field airport. She demanded more flights from Shimla, Kullu and Kangra airports as to meet the demands of the high end tourists and the visiting dignitaries in the state. She also demanded the introduction of private airlines services at all airports in the state which could provide cheap and economical air tickets to the air travelers who frequently visit the state.
She demanded central subsidy on air services in the state on the pattern of north east states keeping in view of the similar topography and geography of the state and said that Himachal Pradesh also falls in this special category and center should extend all the incentives to Himachal Pradesh which are being provided to the special category states of north east states . She demanded more air strips and air services in tribal area of the state to explore the immense tourism potential in the snow bound areas which can be developed as adventure tourism sites and heritage tourism sites in the state.
Union Minister Sh. Ajit Singh assured her that central government will take positive view of her demands and an immediate action will be taken in case of the restoration of air strip at Shimla airport.