Much awaited airstrip in Kishtwar gets Govt’s nod
In a major development, which will transform the developmental profile of Kishtwar district, the State Government has cleared the proposal mooted by the Minister of State for Transport, Science and Technology, Sunil Sharma for construction of airstrip in the Kishtwar town for start of much-needed air service. The construction of airstrip at historic Chowgan ground in Kishtwar was the long pending demand of the people and all the previous Governments only made this their election agenda with no serious step on the ground. However, Minister of State for Transport, Science and Technology, PWD, Revenue, RDD and YSS Sunil Sharma, who is also MLAfrom Kishtwar, translated his promise with the people by obtaining formal approval from the Government. “Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, who is also Minister Incharge Civil Aviation Department of the State, has given nod to the proposal for construction of 900 meters long and 20 meters wide airstrip at Chowgan ground at an estimated cost of Rs 2.75 crore”, Sunil Sharma said. In order to facilitate immediate start of work on the airstrip, the Minister has provided Rs 50 lakh from his Constituency Development Fund and remaining funds would be released in near future in order to facilitate completion of work during the current financial year. Heritage Aviation and Prabhatam Aviation have already been roped in by the Minister so that after construction of airstrip they begin exercise to start service of 26-seater fixed wing aircrafts between Kishtwar and other parts of State particularly Jammu. Stating that air-service would transform the developmental profile of the Kishtwar district, the Minister said that over 30 kanals of land is being acquired for making the run-way compatible for higher seating capacity aircraft. “We are initiating steps to overcome the darkness of past 60 years in the Kishtwar district and airstrip is one such measure”, Mr Sharma said, adding “the airstrip is also imperative as due to poor condition of Batote-Kishtwar road the district remains cut-off from rest of the State during rainy seasons”. Reiterating present Coalition Government’s commitment for fast development of hilly and remote areas, the Minister said that Government has taken several innovative measures to revolutionize all round development of such far-off and hilly areas, which were neglected by the previous Governments. He said up-gradation of basic amenities with thrust on education, healthcare, power supply, drinking water and road connectivity was the first priority of the Coalition Government across the State. The Minister said that Centre and State Governments have launched several welfare schemes for socio-economic transformation of weaker sections of the society and urged people to come forward and take maximum benefits by such schemes. He said that with the formation of the Narendra Modi Government at the Centre, a number of projects have been launched for the overall development and welfare of the people across the country. Similarly, PDP-BJP coalition in the State too has been working towards mitigating the sufferings of people, he added.