Port Blair, May 23: Shri Vishal Jolly, National Executive Member of BJP and Former State President of BJP-ANI, has written a letter to Hon'ble Union Minister of Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah and Hon'ble Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, requesting urgent intervention to address the exorbitant airfares ranging from Rs. 22,000 to 25,000 for the Port Blair to Chennai sector. He also requested the restart of chartered flights.

In his letter, he highlighted the dire state of the aviation sector in the Islands, where Islanders are compelled to pay excessively high airfares for travel from Port Blair to Chennai. He pointed out that many Islanders originate from South India and travel to their native places during vacation periods. Additionally, due to the lack of specialized medical treatment facilities on the Islands, residents often have to travel to Chennai for medical treatment.

Shri Jolly also mentioned that a significant number of students pursue higher education in various states. Moreover, the business community heavily relies on regular flight operations with reasonable airfares to Chennai, Kolkata, New Delhi, and Hyderabad to ensure smooth business operations and maintain an uninterrupted supply chain.

Furthermore, he emphasized that the tourism industry, which is crucial for showcasing the serene beauty of the Islands, would suffer if airfares remain exorbitant, high airfares would undermine all tourism-related projects.

He noted that all necessary equipment and infrastructure for night landing operations at Veer Savarkar International Airport have recently been installed, facilitating the start of night flights by airlines.

Jolly drew the Union Ministers' attention to the previous system of chartered flights for the Chennai and Kolkata sectors, which offered a flat airfare of Rs. 5400 for Islanders. He urged the reinstatement of this arrangement for the benefit of the Islanders. He stressed that unless airfares are reduced to a reasonable level, between Rs. 5000 and 6000, islanders would continue to face economic exploitation.

Accordingly, he requested that all necessary steps be taken to ensure the reduction of airfares at the earliest. He also urged the initiation of the process to restart chartered flights for the Islanders on the Chennai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad sectors.