Chief Minister of Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio meeting the Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (I/C), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh, in New Delhi on August 21. (PIB Photo)
Morung Express News
Dimapur | August 21
The DoNER Ministry has plans to partially fund a Rs 6,000-crore proposed greenfield airport in Kohima, which could be the first in the Nagaland capital.
This was conveyed by Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh to Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who called on him on Wednesday along with a delegation of senior officers of the state government, an official statement from DoNER said.
Singh conveyed to the chief minister that the proposal to set up an airport in Kohima is being pursued seriously by the DoNER ministry and after an appropriate site was identified by the state government, a technical feasibility report was also prepared by the Airports Authority of India which was favourable for an all-weather airport.
The chief minister conveyed to the DoNER minister that the total estimated cost to set up an airport could be around Rs 6,000 crore and requested that a part of it could be funded by the DoNER ministry or the North Eastern Council (NEC).
The DoNER minister informed the chief minister that a proposal has been sent by his ministry for sanction of Rs 1,000 crore towards the project, the statement said. According to the plans, the proposed airport will come up at Ciethu in Kohima.
Singh conveyed to Rio that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has high priorities for all eight northeastern states, particularly the far-flung ones like Nagaland.
He said under the directions of the Prime Minister, all the development projects in the Northeast are put on a fast-track and a follow-up is done on a regular basis to complete these projects within the stipulated timeline.
The DoNER minister also conveyed keen desire of the central government to ensure equitable development of Nagaland and at the same time, find a lasting end to insurgency-related incidents, the statement said.
It may be recalled that on July 25, the DoNER minister Dr. Jitendra Singh has stated that Greenfield airport at Ciethu in Kohima proposed by the State Government of Nagaland was financially unviable.
In written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, Dr. Singh said that the feasibility study was conducted by the multi-disciplinary team comprising officials from Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and AAI in August, 2018. He said that though the project was technically feasible, the financial implication of site development was exorbitant making the project financially unviable.
The Ciethu airport which was proposed in 2003 had been running into numerous hiccups even after feasibility surveys and studies by various Central government agencies and preparation of DPR.