MP eyes to set up helipad for CM near his residence

MP eyes to set up helipad for CM near his residence or state secretariat to ease VIP movement

The MP Public Works Department has been looking for suitable sites for the purpose, but no specific location has been finalised so far

Representative image. Credit: iStock Photo

The Madhya Pradesh government is planning to set up a helipad either near the state secretariat here or close to the chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's residence to facilitate VIP movement and reduce traffic woes caused due to it, a senior official said on Friday.

"We have received a request from the state aviation department for setting up a helipad near the secretariat or the chief minister's residence with a view to ease VIP movement," MP Public Works Department's principal secretary Neeraj Mandloi told PTI.

The department has been looking for suitable sites for the purpose, but no specific location has been finalised so far, he said. The places being considered by the department are close to the state secretariat (Vallabh Bhawan), Old Jail premises, Lal Parade Ground and Shyamla Hills, where the official residence of the chief minister is located, he said.

"The proposal is under consideration, but nothing has been finalised so far,” Mandloi said.

When asked about the reports that such a facility will be set up on the rooftop of the secretariat, the principal secretary said that so far, the aviation regulatory authorities have not given their go-ahead to any such provision in the country.

"The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ruled out this option,” he said.

The distance between the airport and the chief minister's residence or the secretariat in Bhopal is around 13-15 km from both places and the VIP movement takes about 15-20 minutes one way to reach the aerodrome, which causes a lot of inconvenience to people, officials said.

The chief minister uses helicopters more often than airplanes and he has to spend nearly an hour both ways every time, they said. Setting up a helipad near the state secretariat or the chief minister’s residence will not only save the CM's time, but also substantially reduce inconvenience faced by others, the officials added.