No proposal for seaplanes in Sabarmati

On the last day of campaigning for the 2017 Assembly elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had — in the first ever seaplane journey in the country — boarded a single-engine seaplane from the Sardar bridge from old city in Ahmedabad West to Dharoi Dam in north Gujarat. PTI file photo

The talk of a proposal to make seaplanes a regular option for tourists here appears to be facing a bumpy ride.

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and Sabarmati River Front Board, that looks after the management of riverfront in Ahmedabad, have said that they do not have any proposals with regard to operating a seaplane in the river.

"The Airport Authority is carrying out a detailed survey but for now neither the AMC nor RiverFront Board has any proposal to fly seaplanes," Gautam Shah, mayor, Ahmedabad, told mediapersons.

On the last day of campaigning for the 2017 Assembly elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had — in the first ever seaplane journey in the country — boarded a single-engine seaplane from the Sardar bridge from old city in Ahmedabad West to Dharoi Dam in north Gujarat.

This had resulted in plans to consider seaplanes for tourism.

Since then, Gujarat Finance Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel has announced a provision of Rs 30 crore in the civil aviation sector for seaplane services.

Union Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari has also been quoted talking about the potential of seaplanes in India.

"If it starts, we have the potential of 10,000 seaplanes. We have 3 to 4 lakh ponds in India, plenty of dams, 2,000 river ports, 200 small ports and 12 major ports," he was quoted to have said.

"The people were told that there would be a regular service of seaplanes for citizens going forward. Today, when we sought an official response in the meeting, the chairman and other members of the Riverfront Board claimed ignorance about the entire project,” Dinesh Sharma, leader of opposition in AMC said.

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No proposal for seaplanes in Sabarmati

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