Pilgrims heading to Kedarnath this year will now have to shell out at least Rs. 6,500 per person for a helicopter ride from Sirsi to Kedarnath.
This is a hike of Rs. 500 over last year’s helicopter fare for Sirsi – Kedarnath ride.
Pilgrims will have to pay Rs. 7,000 if flying from Phata and Rs. 7,500 if flying Guptkashi.
A ride from Sirsi to Kedarnath takes 7 minutes, while the same ride from Phata and Guptkashi takes 9 minutes and 15 minutes respectively due to longer distance.
Uttarakhand Government has also fixed per passenger royalty to 10% this year, which helicopter companies will have to pay to it. Resulting in more revenue for the government this year from Char Dham Yatra, which has just begun in Uttarakhand.
Helicopter service for Kedarnath is expected to begin tomorrow (3rd of May) and will also have to conform to NGT norms by staying at least 600 meters above ground level and ensuring noise pollution does not exceed 50 decibels.
NGT had laid down these guidelines since helicopter services were disturbing animals at Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary.