A 3.5-km “emergency landing facility” is set to come up in South Kashmir. The airstrip was approved earlier this year, but construction was halted because of Covid-19, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) officials told The Indian Express.
The office of District Magistrate, Anantnag, gave the go-ahead Tuesday to start work for the landing facility “from km 246+200 to km 249+700 on the Srinagar-Banihal section of the NH44”. This covers the area from Subhanpora to Donipora in South Kashmir. The construction is being done by the NHAI through its contractors.
“A 3.5-km emergency landing strip is coming up in Bijbehara area, adjacent to the national highway. The project was approved earlier this year and work has started now. Work was supposed to start in March, but it could not because of the Covid-19 situation. The runway strip is on the same pattern as we earlier saw in Uttar Pradesh,” a Kashmir-based NHAI official said.
An Indian Air Force officer said the landing strip has nothing to do with the LAC situation. “Such strips are planned in different parts of the country. If a runway comes up in a particular area, it doesn’t come up overnight. The proposal must have been there for long. I don’t think it has any connection with the India-China standoff.”
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