The Civil Aviation Minister has set March 2022 as the deadline for completing the Hollongi Greenfield airport. The airport near the capital, Itanagar, was one of a slew of projects worth Rs 4,000 crore for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone in the month of February.
It is estimated to cost around Rs 1,200 crore for completion. Minister of State (Independent) for Civil Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri, during a video conference with Arunachal Pradesh Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, stated that the Centre would assist the State in completing the Hollongi project by March 31, 2022.
The focus will also be on developing helipads at five strategic places of the State apart from Tawang. The State government had suggested air connectivity between India and Bhutan via the Tawang helipad.
The Hollongi project has been a sensitive one for the State governments. It was one of the major reasons why the Congress government headed by Nabam Tuki couldn’t maintain their reign, and BJP come to power in the State. An airport was initially scheduled to be built at Karsingsa, also near Itanagar where former Union Minister Shivraj Patil laid the foundation stone in 2008. However, the Tuki government rejected the site in 2012 for ‘geographical complications’ and opted for Hollongi.