New Delhi: Government will seriously pursue the case of a civilian airport for Itanagar, the state capital of Arunachal Pradesh. This was stated by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh when the Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Shri Nabam Tuki called on him here today.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, the proposal had got delayed due to several factors including the decision regarding its exact location. Initially, Bandardawa/Karsingsa had been proposed as the site for the airport but later the State Government was of the opinion to have it at Hollangi, which is located about 20 km on the outskirts of Itanagar, close to the Arunachal-Assam border.
From his personal experience, Dr Jitendra Singh said, he had realized the prime need of having an airport at Arunachal Pradesh, particularly around this part of the year when the rainy season has set in and the road connectivity is also poor. He said, during his visit to Arunachal Pradesh last week, he had to take a flight to Lilabari which is incidentally the nearest airport to Arunachal Pradesh even though it is a part of the Assam State.
Responding to the Chief Minister’s demand for an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for Arunachal Pradesh, Dr Jitendra Singh said, this may go beyond the purview of the DoNER Ministry and therefore, suggested that a request for this could be put up to the Union Finance Ministry when the process for preparing the next annual budget begins. However, he admitted that the healthcare infrastructure was not very much up to the mark in the State, as a result of which, many patients were constrained to travel for treatment to far off destinations like Chennai and Vellore.
Dr Jitendra Singh meanwhile advised the Chief Minister to sort out certain issues related to the Public Distribution System (PDS) in the State. The two leaders also discussed the security situation in the districts of Pirap and Changlong, and a pending demand for a National Sports Stadium in Itanagar.
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