Gandhinagar: The seaplane service between the Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad and the Statue of Unity launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2020 was discontinued over high operating costs and maintenance, the Gujarat government told the Assembly on Thursday.
Responding to a question raised by Congress MLA Gulabsinh Chauhan about the current status of the service between Ahmedabad and Kevadia, state Civil Aviation Minister Balwantsinh Rajput said the service has been stopped from April 2021.
In his written reply, Rajput said the service was discontinued by the operator due to high operation costs and difficulties in maintaining the foreign-registered aircraft.
On October 31, 2020, PM Modi launched the seaplane service between the Statue of Unity near Kevadia in the Narmada district and the Sabarmati riverfront in Ahmedabad.
He inaugurated the service by boarding the twin-engine plane from pond-3 close to Sardar Sarovar Dam on the occasion of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s 145th birth anniversary.
Responding to a related question by Aam Aadmi Party MLA Chaitar Vasava, Rajput said the state government had allotted Rs 22 crore for this project during the last two financial years. Rajput said the state did not earn anything from this service.
The minister told the House that the state government plans to start the seaplane service to connect various other tourist spots such as Shetrunji dam in Bhavnagar district, Saputara lake in south Gujarat, Ukai dam in Surat and Dharoi dam in north Gujarat.
While the process to select land near Dharoi dam has been initiated, no such process has been undertaken to start the service at the other places, added Rajput.