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MoCA plans to connect more than 50 destinations under UDAN 5.0

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) plans to connect more than 50 wildlife and tourism destinations in the next stage of the regional connectivity initiative Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) reports CNBC Awaz.

It has identified 54 new destinations for the next phase of the scheme. The fifth phase of the scheme — to be called UDAN 5.0. — will aim to add or revive air strips closer to wildlife sanctuaries, tourist destinations or spiritual places.
The government has prepared a list of potential airports. Most of these destinations already have either an underserved or unserved airstrip.

Usha Padhee, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, said, “With UDAN 5.0. we are going from regional to remote connectivity. This will be a demand driven scheme.”
“We will not decide the routes for airlines to bid for. Airlines know the network better. They will be allowed to select the routes they want to bid for. Of course, we have some priority areas included in the scheme, like in North East states and islands,” she added.

The list includes 10 airstrips, which are near a wildlife sanctuary like Ranthambore (Sawai Madhopur) and Bharatpur in Rajasthan, Bishnupur, also culture destination in West Bengal, Yavatmal in Maharashtra, Satna, Dhana and Mandla in Madhya Pradesh and Nagarjuna Sagar in Andhra Pradesh.

Airstrips near 29 tourist destinations, including Chamba, Sidhi, Panchmahri, Jogbani, Raichur, Hirakund and Kohima have been proposed to be developed as potential airports. Religious and spiritual destinations like Konark, Bihar Sharif, Hassan, Dessa and Abu Road will be included in bidding process of UDAN 5.0.

Madhya Pradesh and Bihar are likely to be the biggest beneficiaries of this round. Eleven airstrips from MP and seven from Bihar are included in the list. (Source: CNBC Awaz)

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