Aizawl: In an official statement released on Sunday, it was announced that a helicopter service linking Manipur’s Churachandpur to Mualpui Helipad in Aizawl, Mizoram, has been launched as part of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India Helicopter Service Scheme. The service is scheduled to begin operations on September 27, 2023, subject to favourable weather conditions.
This development comes as a welcome relief to the people who have been severely impacted by the ethnic conflict that erupted in the state earlier this year. This initiative aims to provide a safe and efficient mode of transportation for the residents of Manipur who have faced travel restrictions due to the ongoing conflict.
In August, the Union government approved two inter-State routes for helicopter services, specifically for people affected by the ethnic conflict that erupted in Manipur in early May this year. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) communicated its decision to the State government on August 11. The approved routes include the one from Churachandpur to Aizawl in Mizoram, and another from Kangpokpi/Senapati to Dimapur in Nagaland.
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The conflict that began on May 3 had compelled the Kuki-Zomi people, who had settled in the Imphal Valley, to return to their respective hill districts, and the Meitei people settled in the hill districts to move back to the Valley area. The fear of violence from the other community had paralysed road travel within the state, making the helicopter service a vital lifeline for the affected populations.
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