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Chopper service for Durga Puja revellers in Tripura

By Ians

Agartala, Oct 1: The Tripura government on Wednesday launched helicopter service for Durga Puja revellers and sightseers to enable them get an aerial view of tourist spots and puja celebrations in Agartala, a minister said.

The chopper service, run by state owned Tripura Road Transport Corporation (TRTC), will later be extended to other parts of the state.

"For 30-minute sightseeing and witnessing Durga Puja, per head fare for an adult is Rs.1,000 and for children below 12 years, it is Rs.800," Tripura Transport Minister Manik Dey told reporters.

He said: "The joy ride would be conducted in eight-seater double-engine choppers of the Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd. (PHHL). The sky ride would be conducted till Oct 4."

The state government has subsidized the fare.

"Subsequently, the tour by helicopter would likely be initiated in the district towns and other areas of the state," an official of the TRTC said.

India's lone national helicopter company PHHL has been operating services for the past 12 years in the interior areas of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Tripura, Sikkim, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram, with the union home ministry subsidizing fares by up to 75 percent.

Director General of Tripura Police K. Nagaraj, while talking to reporters Wednesday, said vigil along the India-Bangladesh border has been tightened with the deployment of additional Border Security Force personnel.

"The para-military Assam Rifles and Central Reserve Police Force, along with Tripura State Rifles, have intensified their counter-insurgency operations in the terrorist- prone and hilly areas of the northeastern state," Nagaraj added.

CCTVs (closed circuit television) and metal detectors have been installed near the "puja pandals" and other sensitive locations.

Over 2,300 community Durga Pujas have been organised in Tripura this year.


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