Daily flights between north Bihar town of Darbhanga and metropolis like Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru will commence from the first week of November, aheadof the annual rush for Chhath festivities, Union minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri said Saturday. Puri, who visited Darbhanga to inspect the facilities at the airport which is being thrown open for commercial aviation, said bookings for the flights will begin in September and remarked "this is a boon for 22 districts of north Bihar".
At present, commercial flights ply from only Patna and Gaya in Bihar, both situated south of the Ganges, leaving the densely populated north Bihar with virtually no air connectivity. "Very happy to see that most of the work at the airport is almost complete. Arrival and departure halls, check-in facility, conveyor belt etc. have already been installed.
Remaining work will be complete before end of October. "Spicejet has already been awarded this route under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) UDAN", Puri tweeted,sharing pictures taken at the premises, where he was flanked by BJP MPs from Darbhanga and Madhubani, Gopal ji Thakur and Ashok Yadav respectively, among others.
"Flight operations will begin in first week of November before the auspicious festival of Chhath. This is a boon for 22 districts of north Bihar", he tweeted. Dedicated to the sun god, Chhath is arguably the most popular of all festivals celebrated in Bihar. Days leading upto the festivities are marked by a heavy rush in rail, road and air traffic as people eking out a living in other parts of the country head home in droves.
Congratulating "sisters and brothers of Mithila bhumi(land)" for the flight services, Puri credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of "hawai chappal se hawai jahaz tak"which was transforming lives with the motto of "sab uden sabjuden" (making air travel affordable and accessible to all). Puri thereafter visited Deoghar in neighboUring Jharkhand where a new airport was coming up, "strategically located to provide connectivity to Patna, Kolkata and Bagdogra" besides catering to the Bhagalpur and Jamui districts of Bihar.
In Patna, Puri also paid a visit to Takht Harmandir Patna Sahib, one of the holiest Sikh shrines which was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh to commemorate the place of birth of Guru Gobind Singh.