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The Tripura government will operate a helicopter service for Durga Puja revellers and sightseers to enable them get an aerial view of tourist spots and puja celebrations in Agartala.

The copter service, run by government-owned Tripura Road Transport Corporation (TRTC), will be conducted in the form of 20-minute-long trips in and around Agartala. There will be six sorties in a day.

“For sightseeing and witnessing Durga Puja, the per head fare for an adult is Rs 1,600 and for children below 12 years it is Rs 1,400,” TRTC managing director Keshab Kar told the media on Monday.

He said: “The joy rides would be conducted in eight-seater double-engine choppers of Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd. The rides would be conducted for five days from Tuesday.”

Sponsored by the Union home ministry, the chopper service has been subsidised by the government.

The state-owned Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd has also been operating the helicopter service in the other mountainous Northeast states at a subsidised rate.

Meanwhile, state power and transport minister Manik Dey said that to maintain uninterrupted electricity supply during the five-day puja period, Mizoram would provide 20 MW of power to Tripura.

“Despite huge demand of power (300 MW) during Durga Puja festivities, Tripura would maintain supply of 160 MW of power to Bangladesh as this is the national commitment,” he added.

A police officer said vigil along the India-Bangladesh border and in trouble-torn areas has been tightened with the deployment of additional central paramilitary and state security personnel.

Paramilitary forces Assam Rifles and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), along with Tripura State Rifles, have intensified their counter-insurgency operations in the terrorist-prone, sensitive, trouble-torn and hilly areas of the Northeast state to foil any attempt at disturbing the festivities, the officer added.

CCTVs and metal detectors have been installed near the puja pandals (marquees) and other sensitive locations while over 8,000 security personnel and quick reaction teams besides bomb and dog squads have been deployed across Tripura.

Police pickets have been set up at important and strategic locations and mobile and foot patrolling has been initiated along with intelligence networks.

According to the official, around 2,300 community and about 100 family pujas, including approximately 1,300 in rural and interior areas, are being organised in Tripura this year — a figure lesser than last year.

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