MP on surging airfare: I can't fly once I am not one

I can fly to Delhi only because I am an MP and I will not be able to travel when I cease to be one.

This was how Congress MP Viplava Thakore on Monday brought the issue of higher airfare in Rajya Sabha during the Zero Hour.

Thakore was referring to the high airfare on Dharamshala-Delhi route and said it oscillates between Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000 for one way.

She said the higher airfare will have an impact on Himachal Pradesh, as tourists are likely to keep away from the destinations in the state.

"I won't be able to travel. Now I am an MP, I can come from Dharamshala to Delhi. But when I cease to be an MP, I won't be able to afford," she said as a number of MPs supported her. As an MP, she can travel by air as she is entitled to a certain number of free air travel every year.

The surging airfare has been one of the issues raised by MPs during the past several sessions with the government taking a stand that it does not have the mandate to regulate airfare.

Another issue raised during the Zero Hour was the introduction of the hydrocarbon wells has wreaked havoc and wanted the government to not allow further projects. He said the failure of monsoon and depletion of groundwater in Tamil Nadu had an adverse impact on agriculture-dependent areas.

"We don't want to be a richer nation, we want to be a healthier nation," Siva said as he asked the government not to give permission to dig new hydrocarbon wells as well suspend operations in the existing ones.

Earlier in the day, LJP chief and Union Minister Ramvilas Paswan took oath as Rajya Sabha MP from Bihar. As he took oath, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu asked how many terms he has served as an MP.

To this Paswan responded, "11 terms. Nine term in Lok Sabha and second term in Rajya Sabha." Naidu then asked NCP chief 14-term MP Sharad Pawar about his term as a lawmaker and told the House, "we are fortunate to have both. They have vast experience. This (Paswan) is a good addition to the House." BJP MP from Odisha Ashwani Vaishnavi also took oath.

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