Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Northeast airports facelift: Government may invest Rs 8,000 crore more

New Delhi: The government has initiated a process to build airports and upgrade existing facilities including airstrips used by the air force in the Northeast to improve connectivity in a region which is represented poorly on the aviation map. The first phase of this has already started with the state-run Airports Authority of India currently carrying out work under a Rs 2,500-crore project. The government is also discussing a plan to invest anotherRs 8,000 crore in upgrading more airports.
"We are already in the process of upgrading various airports in the Northeast, which is likely to reach completion by 2019-20," AAI chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra told ET. "We are also planning a second phase of airport upgrade programme for the north-eastern region."

These efforts are part of the Narendra Modi government's Act East policy to accelerate development in the Northeast, which acts as a gateway to Southeast Asia and has huge tourism potential. The Prime Minister recently announced Rs 90,000 crore for improving roads and national highways in north-eastern states in the next twothree years.

A new airport is set to come up at Holangi in Arunachal Pradesh in the first phase. The airports being upgraded include Teju, Shillong and Agartala.
20/12/17 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times