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Chopper ride for Puja revelers in Tripura

 AGARTALA, Oct 11 – The Tripura Government on Friday launched a helicopter service to give Durga Puja revelers an aerial view of the celebrations in and around the State capital Agartala, an official said.

The service, being operated by the State-owned Tripura Road Transport Corporation (TRTC), will continue till Monday, the last day of the festivities.

“The fare for the 25-minute flight will be Rs 800 for adults and Rs 600 for children below 12 years,” TRTC managing director Rabindra Reang said.

“The flights would be conducted in eight-seater choppers of Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd (PHHL). They were also conducted during Duga Puja last year.” The fare is subsidised by the Central and State Governments.

Pawan Hans, India’s lone State-owned helicopter company, has been operating for the past 11 years in the interior areas of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Tripura, Sikkim, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram, with the Union Home Ministry subsidising fares by up to 75 per cent.

Meanwhile, the security forces have intensified their vigil to ensure safety during the five-day festival, which began on Thursday with the ‘Bodhan’ – welcoming the Goddess Durga and her children.

Amidst threats of heavy rains and a cyclonic storm, men, women and children thronged the puja pandals since Thursday. “Apart from the Border Security Force (BSF), additional security posts have also been set up along the border villages to maintain a close watch on the India-Bangladesh border to prevent any trans-border movement, and to ensure the festival is free from any untoward incident,” Inspector General of Police Nepal Das told reporters here.

“Equipped with sophisticated arms and binoculars, counter insurgency trained Tripura State Rifles (TSR), and other security personnel were positioned in several tall watch-towers,” Das said on Thursday. – IANS

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