93% work on 3.5-km emergency landing strip in Bijbehara completed

‘Work in full swing, land being acquired for ATC tower’

By: Ibni Maqbool

Srinagar: The work on 3.5-kilometre long emergency landing strip in Bijbehara area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district is in full swing and land is being acquired for setting up an air traffic control building.

Official documents in possession of The Precious Kashmir reveal that 93 percent work on the facility has been completed till date. “It was apprised that construction of emergency landing facility from kilometer 246.200 to kilometer 249.700 (design length 3.5 kilometer) on Srinagar- Banihal section of NH1A (New-NH44) is in full swing and 93.8 % progress has been achieved on it,” reads record note of a meeting chaired by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, P.K. Pole on November 27 to review progress of the major projects being executed by central agencies in Kashmir.

According to the report, the majority of works have been completed and land acquisition is under process for the Air Traffic Control (ATC) building and service road.

It further reveals that a draft 3D notification has been issued by the competent authority for land acquisition (CALA) and the same has been sent to the headquarters of the National Highways Authority of India for approval and publication in the official gazette.

It is worthwhile to mention that in 2016, the ministry of road transport and highways announced the formation of an inter-ministerial joint committee with the ministry of defense and the Indian Air Force (IAF) to look into the feasibility of setting up emergency landing strips on highways. IAF and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) were tasked with the site survey and inspection.

The Centre plans to set-up 19 such airstrips on national highways to handle emergency landings of the IAF’s jets and other aircrafts.

The standard design for the emergency landing strips includes parking slots for four aircraft, an air traffic control (ATC) tower and two gates at both ends of the strip.

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