'Centre should pay hilly states for critical ecosystem services'
ITANAGAR | Oct 09 | : The three-day Sustainable Mountain Development Sumit-IV concluded here today urging the Centre to consider evolving a mechanism to pay the hilly states for critical ecosystem services provided to the rest of the country.
"This will also act as motivation for sustainable development of mountain areas," according to a five-point resolution adopted at the summit.
It resolved to continue with the policy of special category states for mountain states & to clarify the changes in the policy guidelines.
The summit, organised by the Sustainable Development Forum Arunachal Pradesh (SDFA) under the aegis of the Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI), resolved to develop & impart need-based capacity building programmes for the mountain states to hone technical expertise in planning & development in view of the Centre's new policies & to help the states to access external funds & other support mechanism to meet development goals.
"The mountain states (should) set up special cells for interface with the Centre& external funding agencies for efficient planning and effective implementation of development programmes," the resolution read.
The summit resolved to move the Centre to evolve a policy for mountain states to bring out a 'State of the Mountain Report' at regular intervals.
"Such reports will attempt to outline the steps taken by the states in unlocking the huge potential of the forestry sector by integrating science and technology inputs," the resolution said.
Arunachal Pradesh legislators, during the legislators' meet, resolved to come together under the chairmanship of Assembly Speaker Nabam Rebia to form the Arunachal Pradesh chapter of GLOBE India.
"The process of integration with GLOBE India will be completed within the next three months," the resolution said.
The meet resolved that legislators from different mountain states would come together under the banner of GLOBE-IMI Pan Himalayan Legislator Forum, which would be facilitated by GLOBE India in collaboration with IMI.
It was further resolved that the legislators in their own states would examine all issues and come back in the next summit with concrete and implementable policies, programmes and solutions to take the mantle of climate change adaptation and mitigation.
It was resolved that GLOBE India, along with its partners, would explore collaborations with ecologically similar nations like Nepal and Bhutan. In this process Bangladesh and Sri Lanka would also be involved.
The summit resolved that the districts of 11 mountain states would be identified & a disaster management plan would be formulated for each district within the next one year.
Other developmental issues, including green bonus to mountain states for ecosystem services, would be taken up separately and reviewed within six months.
The legislators' meet resolved to move the Centre for inclusion of Bhalukpong-Bomdila-Tawang tourist circuit in the Centre's PRASAD scheme.
"Arunachal Pradesh is one of the most important seats of Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism in India. The 400-year-old monastery at Tawang is a symbol of vibrant Buddhism and bears testimony to age old tradition of Buddhism in the state.
"This monastery is the second largest Buddhist monastery in the whole of Asia and highest seat of learning in South East Asia," the summit observed. (PTI)
Kamin assures all help to DMMSHI
ITANAGAR | Oct 09 |: Social Justice & Empowerment & Tribal Affairs (SJETA) Parliamentary Secretary Nikh Kamin today assured all possible help to Doni-Polo School for Hearing Impaired (DPMSHI) by Nabam Tuki-led Govt, according to a release.
While visiting the DPMSHI here today, Kamin while interacting with principal P K Sharma lauded the noble work, adding that though he had heard of the DPMSHI but never thought that the hearing impaired students would be so intelligent and smart.
"I am really impressed by these students," said Kamin, impressed by the enchanting songs and music of the differently able children.
He was extremely delighted after inspecting the paper printing unit of the DPMSHI which re-cycle the wasted papers to paper-bags & file folders. He instructed the accompanying officers to order stationery items for the department from this school as a contribution to the institution.
Earlier, on his arrival, Sharma explained the teaching aids used for teaching the blind, the dump and the deaf when Kamin, accompanied by SJETA director Taw Tebin & dy director Yumlam Kaha, arrived.
After donating Rs one lakh for the DPMSHI, Kamin informed that the GoAP has allocated Rs 50 lakh this fiscal.
Book Fest inculcate reading habit among children: Guv
GUWAHATI | Oct 09 | : "Books are the first foundation for an individual to become a good and useful citizen. It is most important source of information particularly good children books during early stages of learning at tender age," Arunachal Pradesh Governor of J P Rajkhowa said after inaugurating the 11th Festival of Books for Children.
Children story books like Grandmaâ€(TM)s tales by legendary litterateur Lakshminath Bezbaruah, Gulliver's Travels, Aesop's Fables, Panchatantra stories, Hitopadesh etc. have been not only source of delight for the young people, but also provide them excellent moral lessons, he told the gathering at Lummer Dai Pavilion here, organised by Assam-based NGO ANWESHA.
Appreciating the organisers for such important children book festival being organised for past 25 years, he said it would expose the children to the world of books and inculcate the habit of reading & familiarise them with the world beyond the classroom. Imparting of training by expert story writers & tellers in the art of storytelling, by ANWESHA is a highly laudable step including competition in storytelling.
He requested the organisers to organise such events in Arunachal Pradesh in association with local bodies like K.V. Sangathans, Arunachal Pradesh Literary Society, education department etc. at tanagar, Bomdila, Seppa, Ziro, Aalo, Pasighat, Tezu and Khonsa and assured cooperation and support.
He advocated that book festival for children should be a calendar event in each Arunachal district.
The Fair is organised every year in collaboration with UNICEF, National Book Trust, India, Indira Gandhi Centre for Arts and other agencies, themed water, sanitation & health (WASH) while the main pavilion of the 10-day Festival is dedicated toArunachalâ€(TM)s literary doyen Lummer Dai. (PRO)
APBRDA inks MoU to supply bamboo to NRL
ITANAGAR | Oct 09 | : â€˘ NRL to lay pipeline to Doimukh IOC depot
Arunachal Pradesh signed a MoU today to pave the for supply three lakh tons of bamboo per year to the Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL), a central PSU, to encash its huge natural but unultilised resources.
The MoU was inked in presence of Chief Minister Nabam Tuki between the NRL & Arunachal Pradesh Bamboo Resources Development Agency (APBRDA) in CM's office here. It was signed by APBRDA vice chairman Yura Tugung and NRL GM (marketing & BD) Bruno Ekka, where Ministers Rajesh Tacho (Health), Takam Pario (PH&WS), State Rubber Board chairperson Likha Maj, APBRDA officials, NRL managers Rajib Changkakati (BD), Atanu R Sharma (BD & pipeline) and Kanash Salam (bamboo consultant) were present
The NRL is implementing a bio-refinery project in Assam with a target of two years to produce bio-ethanol from available non-food bio-mass feedstock bamboo.
Bamboo, the fastest growing plant, is one of the major non-food biomass resources abundantly available in NE, particularly in Arunachal.
NRL has joined hands with a Finland-based technology provider M/s Chempolis, having 3rd generation technology, much ahead of other established technology providers for conversion of bamboo to ethanol, to convert bamboo to ethanol in commercially viable basis.
Tuki appreciated APBRDA, particularly Tugung for the novel initiative that would offer a permanent source of revenue generation for state's bamboo farmers & communities owning vast bamboo groves.
He advised the NRL officials to coordinate with APBRDA and conduct awareness camps across the state for benefit of bamboo growers. He observed that people will have to be made aware of the benefits of the understanding and equip them with scientific know-how on regeneration of bamboo plants.
"The technique of recycling the bamboo plants has to be imparted to the people so that while on one hand bamboos are cut down for outsourcing on the other hand these are re-grown. This must go simultaneously so that at no point of time bamboo gets scarce," Tuki reasoned.
While assuring to take the suggestion seriously, NRL authorities informed that the MoU will enable to identify bamboo catchment areas for primary processing by the communities for converting into bio-fuel. It will also set up bamboo processing clusters in the state, which will ultimately promote bamboo plantation and processing for value addition along with providing large scale sustainable employment opportunities for people in bamboo plantations and bamboo semi-processing units.
"We look forward for successful implementation of the MoU for availing long term supply of bamboo for the bio-refinery on mutually beneficial terms for both Arunachal & NRL," Ekka said.
When the CM drew NRL's attention towards petroleum fuel like diesel and petrol scarcity confronting the state at times, NRL authorities informed that NRL is under process of laying a product pipeline from Numaligarh Refinery in Assam to Itanagar (Doimukh IOC depot).
"We have already done the preliminary survey for the 55-km pipeline and it will cross the Brahmaputra River from Kamargara to Gohpur," Sharma disclosed. (CMMC)
ATR aircraft meant for NE diverted to Bengaluru: CS
ITANAGAR | Oct 09 | : Arunachal Pradesh has claimed that the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation had deprived the North Eastern state in terms of development by diverting a 72-seater ATR aircraft meant for the region to Bengaluru.
The MoCA has recently procured five such aircrafts for Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India, out of which one was meant for the NE.
The MoCA had reportedly diverted the aircraft to Bengaluru depriving the region, Chief Secretary Ramesh Negi said here on Thursday.
Negi raised the issue before the team of Rajya Sabha Assurance Committee led by its chairman Hussain Dalwai, who is in the state capital since October 7. He, however, assured him to take up the issue with the authorities concerned.
"With coming up of several airports in the state, the introduction of the new ATR plane will boost the tourism industry besides improvement in the economy," Negi said, adding that if the service could be introduced between Guwahati & Lilabari in Assam's North Lakhimpur district, which is around 62-km from Itanagar, the people of the state would largely be benefited.
"The GoAP has raised the issue in various forums," Negi said and added that the ATR plane meant for the NE presently being stationed at New Delhi.
At present, Alliance Air is running only one 42-seaterTR aircraft for NE that too between Kolkata, Guwahati & other NE states barring Arunachal.
The life of the aircraft is going to expire on October 22 this year after 19 years of continuous service.
"If the old plane is replaced with the new 72-seater, there will be significant decrease in fares and tourism industry of the region will flourish," Negi pointed out.
Chief Minister Nabam Tuki on several occasions had pleaded the Centre for introduction of air services in the state. (PTI)
SMDA-IV aimed at sensitizing policy makers on NE issues: Tolia
By Staff Reporter , ITANAGAR | Oct 09 | : The Sustainable Mountain Development Summit (SMDA)-IV aimed at sensitizing national level police makers on specific issues of the North East region, Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI) president & former Uttrakhand chief secretary Dr. R S Tolia today said.
Interactive with media persons in Banquet hall here, he emphasized on the importance of policies affecting the public at grass root level. He said that one of the missions was to make India proud of the mountains and change the perception that these regions had poor lifestyles. Tolia showed satisfaction that people from all aspects of life; civil societies, experts, bureaucrats and legislators equally participated in the summit.
Responding to queries, IMI vice president, SDFN advisor & former Nagaland chief secretary Alemteshi Jamir said that hydropower dams were part of core discussions and the impression that IMI is not involved in grassroots level is misplaced. Issues pertaining to hydropower dams were forcefully y discussed in the previous summits, hence a choice was made to give other issues greater visibility, he informed.
SMDS-IV convenor Fantry Jaiswal added that people should be aware of hydropower projects and their long term implications. Active participation is needed from both upstream and downstream affected areas in public hearings to make them more effective, she said.
"We have a vision to create an institution with integrative aspects across states in a democratic, open, and transparent way", said IMI secretary Sushil Ramola. He added that all pertinent topics discussed in the summit will be further taken up with the policy makers and built into a single platform for advocacy.
Rubber growers asked to learn Kerala techniques
ITANAGAR | Oct 09 | : Trade & commerce director Tokong Pertin today exhorted rubber growers to learn Kerala techniques to replicate in Arunachal Pradesh before a 12-member team drawn from various rubber growing districts state left on an exposure tour to Kerala under RBI's Shastradarshan scheme
Addressing them at regional Rubber Board of India office here, he urged then to begin with small plantation to expand slowly. He disclosed that additional rubber commissioner Anil Kumar facilitated the trip as a special gesture to the GoAP. The RBI has posted technical staff to Namsai, Roing, Ruksin, Pasighat, Naharlagun besides at the regional RBI office to extend technical support, Pertin added.
The tour, supported by T&C department, will visit various rubber plantations raised by various self-help groups & processing units in Kerala including Rubber Wood India Ltd, small scale units, large estates, traditional small holdings, Kanyakumari etc. which would go a long in promoting rubber cultivation in the state.
T&C Dy. Director S. Modi RBI development officer Kuruvilla, filed officer Summi Doye Jamoh & other officers were present, according to an official release.
ASI to hunt talent in Arunachal
ITANAGAR | Oct 09 | : â€˘ Army recruits 3 medal winners
After Pune-based Army Sport Institute (ASI) 2009 trained Arunachal Pradesh weightlifters & wrestlers won regional, national and global laurels, the Army to reciprocate its gesture has recruited few of them.
Weightlifters Kojum Taba selected to represent the country in World Junior Weightlifting Championship in June 2015 last has been recruited as a junior commissioned officer while Yukar Sibi (Commonwealth medal winner) & Sorom Hitlar Tagru as havildars, this was informed by ASI commandant Col PS Cheema when Arunachal Olympic Association (AOA) joint secretary Daniel Teli called on ASI commandant Col PS Cheema to express gratitude on behalf of the state for the Good Samaritan gesture shown to this Himalayan state.
He has assured of more recruitment, if state athletes make India proud in different international sports competition, AOA secretary general G Doke said in a release.
While lauding the ASI for nurturing Arunachal's budding athletes to win laurels for the nation, Teli, an AOA emissary, apprised him of the huge potentials and hidden talents of the state. Teli, also Arunachal Weightlifting Association general secretary appealed to Col. Cheema to depute ASI's technical team for talent scouting in the state.
Consenting to the plea, he informed that a team led by Lt. Col Shekar & Lt. Col Chaudury would visit the state to hunt talent in archery, athletic, boxing, diving, fencing, weightlifting & wrestling disciplines during November-December next & March-April, 2016.
The ASI, Asia's second best sport institution having world class facilities for all above seven sports disciplines, has produced many Olympians while Arunachal boasts of highest seven ASI trained and medal winners weightlifters.
Interestingly after 10% job reservation for well performing sportspersons introduced by present Govt headed by Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, the ASI initiative would go a long way in locating hidden talents, honing up their skills to perform better besides creating employment opportunities if anyone win global medal.
ITANAGAR , Oct 09, 2015: The 132 KV line from Ziro to Aalo via Daporijo will go for routine preventive maintenance for some days from Oct 10. Power supply to Upper Subansiri, West Siang, Upper Siang, Siang, East Siang & some parts of Lower Dibang Valley districts will be under scheduled shutdown from 6 am to 4 pm till completion of maintenance work. But power supply would be restored after 4 pm daily, according to power department sources.
Penalty imposed for illegal quarrying
ROING , Oct 09, 2015: Acting against illegal mining, Lower Dibang Valley geology & mining department has seized four trucks for lifting quarry from Khando/Samak Nallah and imposed a penalty of Rs 26,300 as the area was not a GoAP notified quarry.
The district administration has banned lifting of quarry from that Nallah, according to ADM Bredenso Yun. (DIPRO)
Stop prejudgement in child rape case: ASWA
SEPPA, Oct 09, 2015: The All Singhi Welfare Association (ASWA) has assured support & cooperation to the district administration in investigating the child rape case here in which its member Logo Singhi is the accused.
While wife of the accused Padak Singhi has claimed her husband to be innocent on the basis of their 20 years' married life.
"We are law abiding citizens & should facilitate smooth conduct of the probe," ASWA president Daley Singhi, said in a release, and urged one and all to cooperate in delivering justice.
Pointing out that crime against the girl child in this modern society would not be tolerated once the crime is proved, he advocated punishing the culprit as per law of the land.
None should judge to mislead the society & affect the probe before the guilt is proved.
Meanwhile, various organisations including Arunachal Pradesh Commission for Women have condemned the incident while the woman organisations staged procession at Seppa to register protest against the child rape.
Anti-dam protagonists seek MP's intervention
ITANAGAR , Oct 09, 2015: Rajya Sabha member Husain Dalwai, also chariman of Parliamentary Committee on Govt assurance on hydropower, has assured to look into the demands of the Siang Peoples Forum (SPF) whose general secretary Oyar Gao & Nyiko Bachao Forum secretary general Reken Ingo called on him here on Thursday and opposed various proposed dams.
On behalf of dam affected people of East Siang, West Siang, Upper Siang & Siang districts, in a memorandum, they opposed proposed hydroelectric projects over the mighty Siang, Siyom (Yomgo) rivers and its tributaries in those district and sought his intervention to safeguard their rights over the land, river & forest as per provisions enshrined in the Constitution of India.
Claiming that 44 large & small Dams have been proposed for which the GoAP has signed MoU/MoA with power developers without any consultation and obtaining consent of the people of the proposed projects which, they placed many demands including review of GoAP's power policies which lacked clear cut guidelines for relief & rehabilitation etc.
Tezu Hospital facing crisis
From Our Correspondent , TEZU , Oct 09, 2015: Lohit District Hospital, though upgraded to a zonal hospital, but still lacks acute shortage of general duty doctors and an anaesthetist, needed for operation.
"Not a single reliever has joined despite several reminders against transfer of a few doctors during last one year from the hospital causing difficulty to run the normal OPD. Moreover, operation during emergency has been virtually paralysed since the retirement of anaesthetist Dr P K Saikia in 2014", rued medical superintendent Dr A Wailong.
Though orthopaedic, paediatric, gynaecologist & eye specialist are available, but relentless pursuance for anaesthetist has yielded no result
There are deficit of other basic amenities besides various problems. There are two allopathic doctors and the homeopathic/AYUSH doctors assist during emergency duty, he said.
Newly joined DMO Dr S Chai Pul has been striving hard to revamp the ailing health scenario of the hospital and has full support.
But reportedly there are many anaesthetists in Capital Complex but unfortunately they are not transferred to the district despite the GoAP adopting â€~zero toleranceâ€(TM) policy to improve the health sector.
Primary school to celebrate golden jubilee
YINGKIONG , Oct 09, 2015: Simong Govt lower primary school, set up on March 23, 1966 would complete its 50-yearsâ€(TM) service for which it has been decided to celebrate its golden jubilee in March next.
Simon, the third largest village in Upper Siang district next only to Damroh & Geku, is 11 km away from here located on the left bank of Siang River. It is one of the oldest villages of Adi tribe in the distrct from where a number of smaller villages emerged Gobuk, Pugging, Likor, Palling, Singging, Angging, Ngaming & Zido.
The school teachers, PRI members, senior public leader, GBs & traders have unanimously decided to celebrate occasion which has received the approval of local MLA-cum- PWD Parliamentary Secretary Alo Libang. (DIPRO)
PH&WS holds sanitation awareness
ZIRO , Oct 09, 2015: PH&WS Ziro division organised a sanitation awareness in tune with Swatchh Bharat Abhiyan here on Thursday from TPD ME school to Dree ground covering Bamin, Michi, Mudang-Tage, Duta & Hija villages.
More than 300 students from various schools, teachers, PRI members & NGO representatives holding placards and banners took part in a rally to bring mass awareness.
Hija ZPM Dani Buker and Apatani Youth Associationâ€(TM)s president Taku Chatung had flagged off the campaign.
The AYA has been actively working to achieve â€~Clean Ziro green Ziroâ€(TM) mission, said Chatung while Buker distributed the departmentâ€(TM)s water testing kits to all the participating schools.
Er. Tasso Raza also joined the duo to make a fervent appeal to the people to replace their traditional toilets with hygienic type and assured departmentâ€(TM)s assistance.
Missionaries of Charity inmates eye uniform
NAHARLAGUN , Oct 09, 2015: Missionaries of Charity inmates willing to don uniform.
They conveyed their sincere desire while interacting with CRPF A/138 BN personnel led by assistant commandant Dharmendu Pathak, who visited the Mother Teresa Home here on Thursday.
They also handed over dry rations for the inmates before interacting with them.
TWMFT attempts to spot local talents
Oct 09, 2015: By Denhang Bosai
It will not be an exaggeration to say that all roads in this sleepy Khonsa Township led to the Nehru Stadium during Sep 19-Oct 10, thanks to the prestigious Thansen Wangchadong Memorial Football Tournament.
Sponsored by Wanglin Lowangdong (& his family) in loving memory of his mother late Thansen Wangchadong, Rani of Borduria & organized by Tirap district administration. Football has generated so much enthusiasm & interest, especially among the youth that be it offices, markets, schools, colleges, hospitals, bus-stops and wherever people I meet, the main topic of discussion has been football only. The stadium recorded jam-packed enthusiastic football aficionados during every match. The youth including the girls and women have been leaving behind their household chores thronged the venue to witness the matches. We have heard of ping-pong diplomacy or cricket diplomacy between nations. Havenâ€(TM)t we? This speaks volumes about how important games & sports are in our lives. These days, everyone I meet only asks me about the on-going football tournament before exchanging pleasantries. The young girls in office working on their computers and laptops seriously without even looking at me would ask the same question, "Sir, who won the football match yesterday?" So also my office staff & people working in my residence have only one thing to know; the result of the last football match. Even Sitaram, the oldest vegetable vendor in the Khonsa market while weighing the vegetables I buy from him would ask, "Sir, aajka match kaun jeeta hei?" So, everybody has been directly or indirectly involved in the tournament. I have no qualms in admitting that the sponsors & the organisers have been successful to a great extent to unite the people through football and generate great interest towards football, especially among the youth.
Altogether 29 teams from all over the district representing different clubs and villages are actively partaking in the highest prize money soccer tournament. Barring a few minor hiccups, the whole tournament has been peaceful & a very good camaraderie is seen among all players. In a nutshell, it can be said that the players are maintaining the high ideals of sportsmanâ€(TM) spirit which deserves appreciation. After the knock-out rounds, quarter finals & the closely fought semi-finals, Khunnu Youth FC will clash against Khonsa Bazaar FC in the grand finale at Nehru Stadium, Khonsa on Saturday to be witnessed by Nampong MLA Laisam Simai. Lok Sabha member Ninong Ering on Sept 19 had inaugurated the tournament, which offers Rs 50,000 along with the glittering trophy to the winner & Rs 25,000 to the runners-up, Rs 20,000 to the â€~most disciplinedâ€(TM) team, Rs 5,000 each to the best player, best goalkeeper & highest scorer.
The match officials from the 1st Assam Rifles have been managing the matches with district administration, police, 1st Assam Rifles, 36 CRPF, & committee members working hard for its grand success. (The writer can be reached @email@example.com)
Helicopter maintenance vital than age in service
Oct 09, 2015: By Deepraj Sirohi
In the aftermath of the recent fatal accident involving a Dauphin helicopter near Khonsa, there has been a public outpouring of anger and frustration at the repeated accidents in Arunachal Pradesh involving helicopters.
It is generally perceived that somehow â€~olderâ€(TM) helicopters are prone to accidents & that the state should avoid them. Accidents are, in fact, caused by a multitude of factors, which often work in tandem, feeding on each other, resulting in a situation from where safe recovery is near impossible leading to an accident.
Understanding accidents is a complex process and subconsciously, one picks out the easily understood aspects that happen in everyday lives and applies it to almost everything including aviation accidents. This lack of awareness about other contributory factors towards the accidents leads the general public to view â€~olderâ€(TM) helicopters with suspicion. The suspicion is unfounded which is evident from the fact that none of the previous accidents has been caused by a technical defect or error.
Helicopters are very complex machines, which are designed to operate safely under a defined set of conditions. An accident is invariably caused if the designed envelope of safety is violated. Helicopters are designed to operate safely at all times with multiple duplicate mechanisms to prevent an accident in case of system failure. Massive research with scientific analysis is involved in designing a helicopter for multifarious usage resulting in a perfected design to prevent catastrophic failure.
For example, the manufacturer continues to provide upgrades to improve efficiency and reliability of a car even many years after the model hits the market. Likewise, new helicopter designs also go through similar processes, like Indian designed DHRUV helicopter. Designed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited & launched almost a decade ago, DHRUV helicopter has been slowly improved over the years to improve its reliability.
Thus, a helicopter model in service for many decades would decidedly be an almost perfected design with regards to safety and reliability. Several such aircraft models are perfect examples of a robust & safe design, like C-130 Hercules aircraft, CH-47 Chinook helicopter, HS-748 Avro aircraft, Cessna aircraft, Mi-8 and Mi-17 series of helicopters, Airbus 320, to name a few. Basic design of these aircraft is so robust that despite newer & fancier aircraft hitting the market, these aircraft designs remain essentially the same without any need for major changes.
Passenger helicopters go through further reliability checks & certifications. No helicopter can be operated in any country unless that countryâ€(TM)s aviation regulator certifies that helicopter safe for commercial operations. Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has the onerous responsibility of certification in India. Certification takes into account the design, manufacturing process, components used, back-up systems and many other safety aspects before the helicopter is given go ahead for transporting passengers. Certification is a very lengthy & involved process in which the aviation regulator needs to inspect & certify all stages of its production, from basic design till final production. Highest standard of tests before certification are mandatory before commercial flying.
Being a complex machine, a helicopter comprises of seven basic parts - airframe structure (like a chassis); its engines; the transmission system (including rotor blades); electrical systems; the hydraulic system (controls the helicopter); the instrument system (including flying instruments), warning sensors and the avionics (including radio & communication systems. All these systems are certified separately during certification process & recorded as part of a particular model of helicopter. In case of change of any systems in the helicopter, without approval, would make the certification invalid prohibiting its flying. For example, the operator cannot upgrade the engines by installing more powerful engine, even if compatible to that model unless the engines have been fully tested & certified by the manufacturer & regulator for that model. The operator can change the avionic systems only without disturbing its certification, while still needing approval of manufacturer, regulator & most operators do that with more reliable equipment.
Every part has a defined life measured by flying hours & the number of years it has been installed. This life is recorded in a certificate provided for each component (e.g. the airframe structure or chassis will have a certificate listing its manufacturing date and number of hours after which it needs to be replaced as helicopters are built on modular concept). When any part becomes old or fails, is changed without disturbing others. The operator keeps a track of each component through a computerized system, which is periodically checked by DGCA who then certify its fitness to fly. The DGCA re-certifies each helicopter once every year & issues an â€~Airworthiness review certificateâ€(TM), mandatory for flying. Therefore, older & failed components get replaced continuously during its entire life, e.g. the engines may be changed any number of times without disturbing the structure & other components and while it would continue to remain reliable & safe, the external appearance unchanged. It may happen that almost all internal parts have been changed over a number of years, making the helicopter as good as â€~newâ€(TM).
The airframe structure (chassis) of the helicopter is not changed that frequently unless it has completed its defined life or has been damaged. The structure of any helicopter is built very robust and is designed to last at least 20 years or more. When maintained & serviced properly, the airframe structure is good enough to last a lifetime. Many such aircraft manufactured in 50s and 60s are still flying successfully & safely. It is worth noting that the IAF is still flying Mi-8 helicopters, which were manufactured in 1980s. In fact, President of India, PM and other VVIPs including foreign dignitaries have been routinely & safely flown by IAF Mi-8 choppers, now almost 30 years old, firmly underscores the reliability of helicopters when they are maintained properly. Even the United Nations accepts 20 year-old helicopters for its peacekeeping operations to ferry people across the world.
The UN in its Technical & Operational Evaluation Criteria (TOEC) defines the technical standards of aircraft (available in its website www.un.org) pinpointing the requirements:
"No aircraft offered should be older than 20 years. In exceptional cases aircraft older than 20 years might be considered. Further the air operator shall submit evidence that the aircraft is airworthy and in compliance with all other applicable requirements, bulletins and airworthiness directives regarding aging aircraft issued by the aircraft manufacturer and the State of registry".
So how do we ensure that the structure remains fit & strong? This is done through regular, timely maintenance & upkeep. The structure is also inspected periodically by manufacturerâ€(TM)s engineers to certify its fitness to fly. The DGCA, which acknowledges the certification, reviews the standards of maintenance carried out before issuing a â€~Certificate of airworthinessâ€(TM) for that chopper.
Professionals inspect & certify each helicopter periodically at every stage to ensure it remains fit to fly. No matter what the age of the aircraft, it is the standards of maintenance approved by the manufacturer, which makes any helicopter reliable & fit to fly.
Aviation is a very serious business and safety and reliability of the helicopter can never be compromised. A small mistake in aviation can result in disastrous consequences. Any responsible helicopter operator would ensure its timely & proper maintenance. Safety of aircraft and passengers always remain top priority for any operator to offer a reliable & trustworthy helicopter. After all, no responsible operator would risk the life of his crew & his business on an unreliable helicopter. (The author is a retired IAF group captain)