April 24, 2024

‘Too good to be true’

TAP | Updated: October 2, 2018

If it’s to be believed, hopefully the entire state of Arunachal 
    Pradesh will have air connectivity within next 10 years. This was 
    the statement made recently by Union MoS for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha breadths a sigh of relief.  However, much needed is to start the long pending work at Hollongi airport. The inordinate delay in its construction has been a disappointment. 
The landlocked state of Arunachal Pradesh made it to the commercial aviation map of the country on May 21 last with the landing of fixed-wing. However, the state capital is yet to see a full fledged airport. Much to the respite, Sinha informed that about Rs 1200 crore will be spent for the airport project at Hollongi and that the construction work will start this December. 
Of the many information given on the future of the airport, it was informed that the proposed 2200-metre runway at Hollongi will be in a position to handle jet aircraft that can provide direct flight services to the metro cities. This definitely is a welcome move if it’s not just limited to words.  Small and big towns in the state connecting through helicopter, seaplane and passenger drone services under the UDAAN scheme is a “too good to be true” feeling.  If and when it is implemented and executed, the state is likely to grow in all socio-economic development fronts. 
In order to speed up the work at Hollongi project, the government have drastically reduced the cost of land acquisition and rehabilitation by one-third of the original cost. This has now worked for the project as many projects in the state earlier have been stalled due to issues of high compensation rates.
As viewed by the state government, the project if and when completed will definitely serve as the lifeline of the state. It will facilitate movement without having to depend on connecting roads in Assam. Improved air connectivity in the region can not just aid in development but also end the geopolitical isolation and eventually boosting the economy of the state.