Sunday, November 13, 2016

Baljek airport in a shambles

Shillong: Baljek airport constructed at a cost of Rs.12.52 crore is in a shambles owing to lack of maintenance and the government’s callous approach in ‘outsourcing’ the entire complex to BSF and Meghalaya police personnel.
A group of militants from LAEF and UALA recently vacated the premises after being sheltered for seven months at the airport.
During the visit to the airport at Jengjal, 33km from Tura in West Garo Hills, on Saturday, it was revealed that several crores of rupees will have to be spent again to renovate the already dilapidated airport.
Broken chairs and internal roof panels, damaged toilets and the power house, among others, show the apathy of the authorities in maintaining the now defunct airport.
On October 23, 2008, the then president Prathibha Patil had inaugurated the airport when the UDP-NCP led government was in power. The 19-seater Dornier aircraft carrying Patil was the only plane to land at Baljek in the last eight years. The airport now houses several BSF and Meghalaya police personnel.
The BSF which is using the airport site as barracks has also painted the wall of the Baljek airport that reads, “Welcome to G-Coy.75 BN BSF, Baljek Airport, Helping the Helpless”.
The government is tightlipped about whose idea it was to convert the airport as barracks of the BSF and police personnel.
13/11/16 Shillong Times