To explore the tourism potential of Mumbai, the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) is looking at developing two more helipads – one near the Domestic Cruise Terminal (DCT) at Princess Docks and one at the Kanhoji Angre Island, which MbPT is developing as a tourism spot.
Senior officials from MbPT said the sites for the two helipads have been identified and the agency will meet officials from the Ministry of Civil Aviation this week.
Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, Mumbai Port Trust, said, “We have proposed the helipads to boost tourism in the city and the Kanhoji Angre Island.”
“We are exploring if the project can be undertaken on a public-private partnership (PPP) model where the private agency will undertake the work.”
MbPT owns the Kanhoji Angre Island which is 25km from Ferry Wharf in Mumbai. The authority is looking at transforming the island by developing campsites, gazebos, amphitheater, cafeteria, food courts and light, and sound shows.
Named after Maratha Admiral Kanhoji Angre, the island has a lighthouse, a fort built by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and a temple. It is an important landmark at the entrance of the Mumbai harbour.
In its document enlisting MbPT’s tourism projects last week, MbPT has said the new helipads can be utilized for tourism, for VIPs, for pilgrimage purposes and personal use. Currently, the city has helipads at Navy Nagar, Mahalaxmi race-course, Raj Bhavan, Juhu aerodrome and the Santacruz airport.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is looking at building another helipad at the Bandra-Kurla Complex, considering its growth as a commercial hub in the city.
Vipul Saxena, an aviation expert, said the move will certainly boost the tourism objectives of the state government. “I think it is a very good idea as currently there are not many options for connectivity to the island. If the government is developing the site, it is good to enable faster connectivity for people in the city.”
(Source: The Hindustan Times)
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