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Global Vectra Helicorps and Himalayan Heli Services have been awarded contracts for carrying out helicopter operations between Katra and Sanjichhat in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir for the devotees who come to offer obeisance at Vaishno Devi Shrine from April 1. The selection was concluded after an elaborate exercise for evaluating bids, involving an expert from Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) M K Bhandari said today. At present, the heli-operations are being carried out by Global Vectra and Pawan Hans Ltd, who were awarded three year contracts through a similar open tendering process in the year 2011, he said, adding, the present contracts are coming to close on March 31, 2014. Bhandari said the heli operations shall be conducted in terms of the contract and as per the approved norms of DGCA, ensuring against inconvenience to pilgrims travelling by this mode. The two Aviation Companies shall keep safety and security of the passengers at the focus of their operations, he said. Bhandari further informed that helicopter tickets rates have been finalised on the basis of the lowest bid received during the tender and that the new tariff shall become operative from April 1, 2014. One way Katra-Sanjichhat ticket shall cost Rs 1,039 per passenger and the return ticket from Katra to Sanjichhat and back would cost Rs 2,078, he said adding the present tariff is Rs 800 for one side travel and Rs 1600 for two way travel. Gor the last several years both Global Vectra and Himalayan Heli Services have also been operating for the Shri Amarnathji Yatra, he added.


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