Pilgrims who are willing to visit Kedarnath shrine by helicopter can now book tickets for all available helicopter services through the online portal heliservices.uk.gov.in. The facility which was started from August 7 has already enabled 1013 people to book their tickets to Kedarnath in the first two days. The second phase of helicopter services will be started from September 1. Passengers can cancel their tickets till 24 hours before the journey starts.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority (UCADA) and Tourism Secretary Dilip Jawalkar said that in order to bring transparency in the process of ticket booking and reducing chances of corruption the step has been taken. Agreement with the aviation companies providing helicopter services has been received before hand.
He further said that 70 per cent of the ticket booking will be done online and rest 30 per cent booking will be done through offline mode that too on the spot. For offline booking three counters will be established one at Guptkashi and two at Phata. As the internet services is not proper at Sirsi centre, the offline booking of Sirsi helipad will be done from the second counter established at Phata.
It is pertinent to mention that in earlier online ticket booking was done by the personal websites of individual aviation companies. During the first phase of yatra season this year several allegations of black ticket marketing were raised against the private aviation companies providing helicopter services to Kedarnath. Seven cases have already been registered against aviation companies and alleged agents. CEO Jawalkar earlier also sent a letter asking for the booking details from aviation companies after receiving complaints of black ticketing from visitors.