The Mizoram government is making efforts to operate larger choppers, which will be more efficient and can carry more passengers than the existing Pawan Hans helicopters, an official said on Friday.

State principal consultant for civil aviation, Wing Commander J. Lalhmingliana said that the Centre has suggested the state government search for larger choppers as the existing Pawan Hans choppers could not carry more passengers.

“Our leaders are now looking for bigger chopper service. Efforts are on to operate high price choppers from two reputed companies,” Lalhmingliana said while addressing a function at the Mizo National Front (MNF) office here.

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He said that the government is making massive efforts to upgrade air connectivity and the lone state’s airport at Lengpui.

He mentioned that Mizoram has recently bagged bagged “Most Proactive State” award under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) UDAN for its outstanding performance under the Centre scheme. He claimed that Mizoram has the best inter-state capital connectivity among the Northeastern states.

Lalhmingliana also said that the government is taking steps to upgrade Lengpui airport, about 31 km from the state capital Aizawl. He claimed the state’s lone airport is one of the best airports in the Northeast.

According to the official, Lengpui airport initially was designed to accommodate 300 incoming and outgoing passengers. The airport’s capacity has now been increased to accommodate about 1,600 incoming and outgoing passengers with the efforts of chief minister Zoramthanga, he said.

Upgradation of the airport is on to accommodate 2,800 incoming and outgoing passengers, he said.

The baggage make-up area of Lengpui airport, which is currently under construction, had accidentally collapsed on March 10, injuring two workers.

Citing sub-standard work, the opposition Congress had earlier filed a complaint with the state Lokayukta chairman demanding a probe into the incident.

The ongoing renovation work at the state’s lone airport is being taken up by Zoramchhana and KR Construction owned by Kamlova Chhangte, a non-tribal contractor, who has become a controversial figure after a complaint was filed against him for allegedly fraudulently acquiring a scheduled tribe certificate.

Chhangte’s original name was Kamrul Laskar Uddin before he changed his name to Kamlova Chhangte in the tribal certificate.

Lalhmingliana said that the state government would not spend additional funds to repair the collapse as the contractors would do that work.

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