New Delhi: Government is considering setting up of three greenfield airports in the Northeast -- in Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland.
Minister of State for Development of Northeastern Region V K Singh told Lok Sabha three greenfield airports are considered or taken up in NE Region -- Pakyong (Sikkim), Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh) and Chiethu (Nagaland).
Mr Singh said out of this three, Airports Authority of India has already taken up the construction of Pakyong airport and the work is in progress and it is expected to be completed in December 2016.
"The AAI had completed the Master Planning of Itanagar airport and is in process of preparing the Detailed Project Report. The approval of Steering Committee is in the process.
"With respect to Chiethu airport, Nagaland government has been requested to find out an alternate site which is more flat and suitable for capital city airport. The state government has identified an alternative site, the feasibility study is to be carried out," he said during Question Hour.
The Minister said there are 12 non-operational airports in the region out of which there is proposal to develop and operationalise eight airports -- Along, Daparizo, Passighat, Tezu and Zero in Arunachal Pradesh, Tura in Meghalaya and Rupsi in Assam and Kailashahar in Tripura.
Mr Singh said for improving air connectivity in northeast, the AAI had taken up a number of infrastructure development works at various airports in the past decade and is planning a number of development works in coming years.
"The objective is to make Guwahati as inter-regional hub and Agartala, Dibrugarh and Imphal as intra-regional hubs. For this, construction of maintenance hangars, extension and strengthening of runway, extension and strengthening of apron, extension and modification of existing terminal buildings are planned in these airports," he said.
The Minister said a number of projects are in various stages of implementation and the reasons for delays in completion of projects include shortcoming in detailed projects reports, delay in techno-economic clearance or vetting by the concerned state government, non-submission of requisite documents, delay in tendering process and inadequate budgetary allocation.
Mr Singh said for expeditious implementation of the projects, monitoring mechanism is in place through which reviews and field inspections are carried out.
"The projects are monitored on a regular basis regarding their physical and financial achievements through quarterly progress reports which are submitted by the state governments and other implementing agencies," he said.