: Chief Minister V Narayanasamy today said said flight services from Puducherry airport, which remained dormant for the last three years, would be resumed from August 16, with operations to Hyderabad in the first phase. Talking to reporters here, he said Spice Jet would operate services to Hyderabad in the first phase adding revival of air connectivity would bring more tourists to Puducherry and also help boost trade. Spice Jet would fly to Hyderabad and Vijayawada initially, he said and added that services to Bengaluru, Kochi and Tirupati were in the offing. Also, Odisha Air had come forward to operate flights from Puducherry to Salem and Bengaluru, he said. Narayanasamy said the plea for revival of air services from here was made to the Union Civil Aviation Ministry and through an agreement and through sustained steps taken by the administration, Puducherry is being linked to Hyderabad now. Puducherry port would also go on stream shortly as a satellite port of Chennai Port Trust to boost cargo transactions, the Chief Minister said. He also urged the Centre to include the Union Territory as a member of Central Finance Commission (CFC) so that Puducherry would be earmarked funds to meet its fiscal commitments. Narayanasamy said he had requested the Union Finance Minister to include Puducherry as a member of the CFS. "Once we are part of the CFC, we will get enhanced allocation as is available for the states," he said. He said that Puducherry was getting a central allocation of Rs 567 crore every year under non-plan though Puducherry's commitments to meet liabilities arising out of implementation of Central Pay Commission and payment of pension for government staff had been heavy.
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