[ M Doley ]
Will the greenfield airport project in Hollongi ever take off? This is the million-dollar question of every Arunachali at the moment.
The state government on 10 May approved the recommendation of the Nabam Rebia Committee report, and has decided to send it to the Centre (as sought by it) for further action. The move comes as a tiny ray of hope for the people of this landlocked state where robust air connectivity is an inescapable need.
The Rebia Committee, which was constituted by the state government, details the status of ownership of the land in Hollongi, where the airport is proposed to be constructed.
The proposed greenfield airport in Hollongi has been at the centre of controversy ever since the Centre decided to shift it from Karsingsa – with land compensation issue being the bone of contention.
Initially, Karsingsa had been selected for the project and the foundation stone was laid on 20 February, 2007, by then union home minister Shivraj Patil.
Prior to it, Emchi and Poma were rejected as the site for the project.
The controversy over the construction of the proposed airport refuses to die down, with former MP and APCC president Takam Sanjoy leveling allegation that his political rival and Union Minister Kiren Rijiju was trying to derail the airport project.
On the other hand, Government Spokesman PD Sona reaffirmed that the state government is committed to constructing the airport, stating that it is one of the dream projects of the Pema Khandu government.
Itanagar is the only state capital in the country without an airport, and the absence of an airport is compelling the people to travel to Guwahati, Assam, to catch a flight.
A thrice-a-week commercial flight from the Pasighat airport has recently been introduced. Another airport, in Tezu, is complete in all respects and is likely to become functional for commercial flights very soon.
Since the Hollongi airport project is at the level of approval only, there are still miles to go before we will see the project completed.
A strong political will and the people’s wholehearted cooperation can help make the dream project come true.
The people must come together and stand united to defeat any attempt to derail the project, as the common people will be the ultimate sufferers in case the airport project fails to take off.