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Minister for Works, Naeem Akhtar today launched maiden commercial helicopter service between Kargil and Srinagar for the locals and the tourists.

Chairman Legislative Council Haji Anayat Ali, CEC LAHDC (Kargil) Kacho Ahmad Ali Khan, Vice Chairman KVIB Peerzada Mansoor Hussain, Director Tourism Kashmir, Mehmood Ahmad Shah  and other senior officers of the district administration Kargil and Tourism Department were present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that the operation of a regular helicopter service between Srinagar and Kargil would not only be of immense relief for the locals, but will also help boost the tourism activity in the desert district which has some of the spectacular places to showcase to the world.

Speaking about the chopper service Director Tourism Kashmir, Mehmood Ahmad Shah said that the Department has already started helicopter service for Gurez valley and has now extended the facility for Kargil. He said each passenger travelling between Srinagar and Kargil would be charged Rs 4500 while Rs 3000 would be charged for Gurez and the operation of the helicopter sorties would be subject to availability of passengers and weather conditions.

The Director Tourism said that in Srinagar, office of the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir and Tourism Department would be the nodal agency for issuance of helicopter tickets for Kargil and Gurez while in Kargil office of Deputy Commissioner Kargil would be the nodal agency for issuance of tickets.

Meanwhile, Minister for Works, Naeem Akhtar announced creation of a separate works division to expedite upgradation of Kargil-Zanaskar national highway.

Highlighting the urgency of expediting work on Kargil-Zanaskar highway, the Minister said that it will usher a new era of economic development in the area. He asked Additional Deputy Commissioner, Kargil to set up joint teams of Revenue and PWD departments in order to remove bottlenecks in this regard.

The Minister inaugurated a PWD Rest House at Yurbaltak in Sodh block built at a cost of Rs 85 lakh.