[India], May 17 (ANI): Seven aviation companies have got approval for providing helicopter services for the Kedarnath Yatra which began on Thursday, said Uttarakhand Civil Aviation Development Authority on Friday.
Helicopter services started on the Kedarnath route from Thursday, just two days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's scheduled visit to the revered shrine.
Among the seven aviation companies, one company has been given permission on Sirsi-Kedarnath route, four on Phata-Kedarnath route and two on Guptkashi-Kedarnath route.
Keeping in mind the high number of pilgrims, the state has slashed chopper rates on two key routes.
In 2018, a chopper ride from Phata to Kedarnath was worth Rs 3,350 per person. It has now been brought down to Rs 2,399.
The fare on Sirsi-Kedarnath route has been reduced from Rs 3,175 to Rs 2,470 this year, and while from Guptkashi to Kedarnath, it is Rs 4,275.
The portals of the Kedarnath temple in the Garhwal Himalayan range of Uttarakhand's Rudraprayag district here were thrown open to pilgrims on May 9 after a six-month-long winter break.
This year's Char Dham yatra started with the opening of portals of Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines on May 7 and Badrinath reopened on May 10.
Kedarnath witnessed heavy snowfall from December to February, which damaged infrastructure and houses in Rudraprayag district. (ANI)