The state government will set up four permanent helipads in remote and strategic locations of the Sunderbans and coastal South 24-Parganas in a bid to reach out to these pockets during cyclones or floods when vast swathes are inaccessible to road or waterways.
Sources said the transport department last week approved four helipads in Gosaba, Patharpratima, Kakdwip and Diamond Harbour II, following a proposal sent by the district administration after Cyclone Yaas earlier this year.
“South 24-Parganas is a unique district, with vast areas of the Sundarbans, and nearly a hundred riverine islands. During disasters, evacuating people gets very difficult. Helipads will help us respond with choppers,” said P. Ulaganathan, the South 24-Parganas district magistrate.
Sources said the district would be the only one in Bengal with four permanent helipads for mitigating natural disasters.
In other districts, temporary helipads are made during visits of dignitaries.