Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Tuesday inspected the construction site of ambitious Greenfield Airport at Hollongi near here along the boundary with Assam and took stock of the work progress on ground. Once completed, Itanagar will soon be in the country’s aviation map, official sources said.
It may be mentioned that the foundation stone for the Greenfield airport project was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 9, 2019. Initially, the target for completion of the project was November 2022 as per the original agreement with construction agencies. However, the central and state government authorities are pushing for its commissioning by August next year.
Once commissioned, the airport will be the first in the mountain state with a runway of 2300 meter eligible for landing and take-off of Boeing 747 aircrafts, the sources said.
Taking to Twitter, Khandu wrote: “Went to inspect today the construction of much awaited, the greenfield airport at Hollongi. Met the officials from the construction agencies and took update of the work. Happy that the work is going on full swing. Itanagar will soon be in the country’s aviation map.”
Speaking to reporters at the construction site, the Chief Minister expressed satisfaction over the work progress despite hurdles posed by the COVID-19 pandemic during the last two years. He informed that of the 2300 meter runway, work on 1500 meter has been completed.
“This is a dream project of entire population of Arunachal Pradesh. We need to thank the central government for extending all out support in fulfilling the dream that too on time. We also need to appreciate all the agencies involved in construction of the airport who are working day and night to meet the deadline despite hurdles,” he said.
Khandu assured that the pre-fabricated terminal building will be in place by early next year.
“The pre-fabricated terminal building will be temporary while construction of the permanent building will continue. Once the permanent structure is ready, the temporary structures will be utilized as cargo area,” he said.
He further informed that keeping in view the possibilities of future expansion, the government has acquired about 500 sq mtr of land beyond the runway while the Kokila river that runs along the airport boundary is being diverted.
“There are no external hurdles and work is going on smoothly. There are few internal issues that the agencies are sincerely working on,” Khandu said.
Later, the Chief Minister held a review meeting with all project stakeholders wherein he was informed that the passenger terminal building of approx. 4100 sq mtr will be designed such as to handle 100 arriving and 100 departing passengers at a time with scope for future expansion.
While acquisition of required land (5 acres) on Assam side, shifting of 132 KV Power Grid line and diversion of Kokila river are under process, about 74% work has been done on the 4-lane approach road of about 4 km to the airport, which will be completed by January 31 next year, the sources said.
During the visit, Khandu was accompanied by Arunachal East Lok Sabha MP Tapir Gao, Home Minister Bamang Felix, legislators Biyuram Wahge, Jikke Tako and Hayang Mangfi, Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar and other officials, sources added.