Govt committed to establishing Hollongi airport: Sona

ITANAGAR, May 25: Reacting to APCC president Takam Sanjoy’s allegation that it was attempting to sabotage the Hollongi greenfield airport project, the state government said it is “totally committed” to have the airport established.
Government spokesman PD Sona in a statement on Friday said the airport is one of the dream projects of the state government.
“The state cabinet that met under Chief Minister Pema Khandu on 10 May, 2018, discussed the report submitted by the Nabam Rebia Committee that details the status of ownership of land measuring 948.56 acres at Hollongi for construction of the airport as sought by the Centre and its recommendations.
“The cabinet approved that the recommendations of the committee should be submitted to the union civil aviation ministry for further necessary action,” the statement read.
However, a retired IAS officer, hailing from outside Arunachal, who closely worked on the airport project, alleged that the state government is not serious about the project and is offering lip service.
Speaking to this daily, the retired officer said, “People like Takam Sanjoy, Kumar Waii, Nabam Rebia and others will get compensation, being landowners. The present leadership of the state will feel threatened if compensation money ends up with these people.
Therefore Hollongi airport will remain a utopian dream and will perhaps never see the light of day. But the state government is forgetting that most of the land there is owned by the indigenous people of Hollongi and the government is making a grave mistake by neglecting them,” the retired officer said.
“The government of India is also not interested in Hollongi airport. They think that Pasighat airport will serve central Arunachal while Tezu airport will cater to the needs of eastern part and Tawang and Kameng sector will be served by Tezpur and Guwahati airports. Therefore the Nyishi belt is the only area which will remain without an airport. However, the small tribal population with no direct effect on electoral politics hardly worries the central government,” he added.