Flight operation from Keshod airport to be inaugurated on April 16

Junagadh: In a boost to the tourism sector in Junagadh and surrounding districts of Gujarat, flight operation will be inaugurated in upgraded Keshod airport on April 16.

The airport will provide air connectivity to tourists visiting Sasan-Gir, the last abode of Asiatic lions or pilgrims to Girnar to seek the blessings of Maa Amba and nearby areas.

Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia will inaugurate the upgraded facilities at Keshod airport and flag off new flights to Mumbai-Keshod-Mumbai under Regional Connectivity Schemes (RCS).

Airport will commence scheduled flight operations on the Mumbai-Keshod-Mumbai route under RCS-UDAN scheme from April 17. The terminal building of the airport has been renovated at the cost of approximately Rs 25 crores District Collector Junagadh, Rachit Raj told IANS that it is going to promote sports and tourism in Junagadh districts.

“All the tourist destinations in and around Junagadh and nearby districts will be benefitted and tourism will be increased. It will boost tourism in Sasan Gir (only abode in the world of the Asiatic lions), Girnar, Somnath and Diu tourism circuit. The area will witness multifold increase in tourism activities due to flight connectivity,” Raj said.

Sasan-Gir is 50 kilometres and Junagadh is 35 kilometres Afrom Keshod. The Keshod city also developed as a historical city and after commencement of the ropeway at Girnar mountain. The tourist visiting to Somnath temple is also expected to rise as it is just 55 km from Keshod.

The 2.32-km long ropeway built at a cost of Rs 135 crore in Girnar mountain has become a huge hit among the pilgrims. Prime Minister Narendra Modi started the ropeway project in 2007 when he was Gujarat Chief Minister. The ropeway was inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi and then Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in October 2020.

According to the Junagarh District Collector, the ropeway is a huge hit among the pilgrims visiting Maa Amba temple located on Mount Girnar in Junagadh, which is 1,069 meters above the sea level. Earlier, the only option to visit Girnar Mountain was by climbing over 9,000 stairs.

“Girnar ropeway is one of India’s biggest and one of the largest passenger ropeway projects in Asia constructed on Mount Girnar, the tallest mountain of the state. Since the start of operations of ropeway started in Junagadh in October 2020, over 10 lakh people have used the services. The ropeway covers a distance of 2.3 km in under 7.5 minutes,” Raj said.

Talking about the restoration, conservation and development of the historic Uparkot fort of Junagadh, Raj said that the work is in full swing and it will be completed in coming months.

“The Tourism Corporation of Gujarat (TCGL) is also developing a walkway along the fort complex and making arrangements for light-and-sound-show as part of the restoration and development project,” Raj added.

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