Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], September 21 (ANI): The Government of Jammu and Kashmir and the Indian Army on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development and operationalisation of Airstrip in Kishtwar.
According to an official press release, the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha observed that the Airstrip would provide vital connectivity to the Kishtwar district to benefit both defense personnel and civilians, even during the severe winter and for medical and other emergencies, besides giving a fillip to the socio-economic development of the region.
Pertinently, the issue of operationalizing the airstrip was pending since 2018.
As a result of the commitment and perseverance of the government, the district, which lies at more than 210 km from the nearest airport in Jammu, has been provided with the golden opportunity to mitigate the sufferings of the people through the ambitious project, he added.
Highlighting the benefits of developing Airstrip at Kishtwar, the Lt Governor observed that the said project is aimed to benefit around 2,50,000 people of Kishtwar district.
The Lt Governor hoped that the project would deliver the results like increasing per capita earnings in the district, owing to higher tourists influx which will facilitate better and quick transport facility through operationalisation of the airstrip, better Health Indicator (HDI) - low mortality rates - the speedy and crucial transfer of a patient to better equipped Jammu hospital will be possible and this will reduce the time taken to travel from eight hours to less than 30 minutes, better monitoring and administration of the district-the reduction in travelling time (for frequent meetings in Jammu) will leave officers of the district with more time to spare for the public and Integration of people with the mainland, large parts of the district remain out of bounds for the normal people, even the residents find it difficult to commute from such far-flung areas.
The meeting was informed that in November 2017, under the UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aaam Nagrik) Phase-II Regional connectivity scheme launched by the Government of India that aims to make unserved/underserved airports in small cities operational with regular flights and other subsidized airfares to encourage more people to fly, Kishtwar district of UT was included among 24 other districts.
According to the release Brigadier Vikram Bhan, Commander, 9 Sector RR, and S Katoch, Commissioner Civil Aviation signed the MoU in the presence of Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, and Dr. Jitendra Singh, MoS PMO, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy, Space, Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (through video conferencing) here at the Raj Bhavan.
Lt Gen. YK Joshi, GoC-in C Northern Command; Lt Gen. Harsha Gupta, GoC 16 Corps; Col. Rajneesh Giri, and Col. AK Panwar represented the Indian Army. (ANI)