New Delhi: Arunachal Pradesh may finally have an airport with the Centre assuring Chief Minister Nabam Tuki of "seriously pursuing" the long-standing demand in order to bolster connectivity of the border state.
In a meeting with Mr Tuki in New Delhi on Saturday, Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh said he had realised the "prime need" of Arunachal Pradesh having an airport and promised that the "government will seriously pursue the case of a civilian airport for Itanagar", the state's capital.
Mr Singh said the proposal had got delayed due to several factors including the decision regarding its exact location.
"Initially, Bandardawa / Karsingsa had been proposed as the site for the airport but later the state government was of the opinion to have it at Hollangi, which is located about 20 km on the outskirts of Itanagar, close to the Arunachal-Assam border," an official release said.
Mr Singh said, during his visit to Arunachal Pradesh last week, he had to take a flight to Lilabari which is incidentally the nearest airport to Arunachal Pradesh even though it is in Assam.
Mr Singh and Mr Tuki also discussed the security situation in the districts of Pirap and Changlong, and a pending demand for a National Sports Stadium in Itanagar.
Responding to the Chief Minister's demand for an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for Arunachal Pradesh, Mr Singh suggested him to take this up with the Finance Ministry as the issue may go "beyond the purview of the DoNER Ministry".