The state government has entered into a lease agreement with the Pawan Hans Corporation for providing air connectivity to snowbound tribal areas during the winter months when high mountain passes become insurmountable and roads get closed for vehicular traffic.

The General Administration Department had invited bids for taking a helicopter on lease so that residents of tribal areas of Lahaul-Spiti, Pangi in Chamba and parts of Kinnaur do not face any inconvenience in moving to and from snowbound areas.

As per the agreement, the rate at which the chopper would be made available would be Rs 3 lakh per hour with an assured 480 hours use annually. The agreement would come into effect from January 1, 2013.

Every year the state government facilitates the movement of residents from areas that witness heavy snowfall during winter.