Kishtwar in Jammu and Kashmir will soon get a full-fledged Airport facility with provision for Aircraft landing and taking off, for which, an upgraded Airstrip will accordingly be constructed adjacent to the Chaugan ground in the city.
This was disclosed here today by Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space Dr Jitendra Singh, after presiding over a joint meeting of Senior Officers of J&K State Government and Defence Forces to sort out the nitty-gritties and other related aspects of the issue.
The meeting was arranged by MoS Defence Dr Subhash Ramrao Bhamre and also attended by Minister of State (I/C) Transport, Jammu and Kashmir, Shri Sunil Sharma.
The State Government was represented by Chief Secretary Shri Bharat Bhushan Vyas and Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Shri Rohit Kansal through video conferencing, while those physically present at the meeting included Shri Dheeraj Gupta, Principal Secretary (Coordination), Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Dr Mandeep Bhandari, former Divisional Commissioner, Jammu and Shri Angrez Singh Rana, Deputy Commissioner, Kishtwar.
Defence Forces were represented by Major General TV Seha ADG, Brigadier Rahul R Singh, DDG, Brigadier Rohan Anand, Col. Gaurav Sanan, Lt. Col. P M Singh, ADG Shri K J S Chauhan, ADG Shri GS Rajeswaran and DEO Udhampur, Shri V K Bhatia.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that in the next few days a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed between the Government of Jammu and Kashmir and Defence Authorities wherein an Airstrip will be constructed and maintained by Government of Jammu and Kashmir, and the extra piece of land required for construction of this strip will be made available from the land currently under the possession of the Army. The airstrip that will come up, he said, will be for joint use, both by the civilian authorities as well as the Indian Army.
However, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Government gives highest preference to the priorities and concerns of the Indian Army and is very sensitive about requirements of the Armed Forces. Considering this, he said, as per the MoU, the Army Authorities will be entitled to exercise priority and prerogative on different issues related to the bilateral arrangement between Civilian Government and the Army.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, with the development of a full-fledged Airstrip at Kishtwar, the town will get round-the-year facility for landing and taking off of Aircraft and even though the operation of commercial flights may not be possible in the very near future, but there will be certain and definite provisions for landing of State Aircrafts, chartered flights and operation of emergency flights.
Dr Jitendra Singh appreciated the efforts made by MoS (Defence) Dr Subhash Ramrao Bhamre in having arranged a joint meeting of the Army authorities and the civilian administration in order to expedite the decision and to clear the reservations, if any. He also appreciated the follow-up feedback provided from time to time by J&K MoS (I/C) Transport and local MLA Shri Sunil Sharma.
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