Srinagar: The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is planning to set up 11 emergency landing airstrips on the national highways across India keeping in mind emergency situations and natural calamity. The first such strip will be set up on National Highway 151 near Khambhaliya of Devbhumi Dwarka district of Gujarat, Financial Express reported.
“At the time of natural disasters like earthquake, flood and cyclone, air connectivity is the best option to transport relief to affected areas. We have planned to set up 11 emergency landing airstrips across India and the first of it will be set up in Gujarat at Devbhumi Dwarka district,” said Mansukh Mandaviya, Union minister of state for road transport and highways.
The minister said the emergency landing strip is being set up with a total cost of Rs 83.66 crore in Gujarat. The other states that will have similar air strips include Rajasthan, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, and Jammu & Kashmir. “The Union government has identified 13 roads across the country on which emergency landing is possible. Two of these roads are under respective state control, while the other 11 roads fall under the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI),” said Mandaviya.
The length of the strip will be about 5-6 km and it will have a 60-metre-wide concrete road. An inter-ministerial coordination group was formed comprising the Union road transport ministry, defence ministry and the Indian Air Force (IAF). The responsibility of site survey and inspection has been given to the IAF and NHAI.
Mandaviya said, “A standard design has been prepared for the strip, which will have parking slot for four aircraft, an air traffic control tower and two gates will be placed at both the ends of the strip. All hurdles like electricity and telecom poles, trees and dividers will be removed from the road.”