Emergency landing strip inaugurated close to Pak border in Barmer, Defence Minister says India committed to protecting territory

Barmer, Sep 9 (UNI) Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, along with Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, inaugurated a stretch of the National Highway in Rajasthan’s Barmer as an emergency landing strip for the Air Force, and said that the strip close to the border showed India’s commitment to protecting its territory.

The ministers, along with IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, landed on the strip in a C130J on Thursday morning.Mr Singh said emergency landing strips are being made by the The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) at twenty locations, including the one inaugurated on Thursday.

“We got the opportunity to land on this strip in a C130J. We had a very smooth landing. IAF chief also told us it is a good landing strip. You must have seen cars, carts, scooters on roads, today we are seeing an airplane on road. The credit goes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari,” Defence Minister said.

“This instills a sense of confidence. Border is not far from here, a landing strip so close to border gives a message that India is fully prepared to protect its territory,” Mr Singh added.

NHAI is also making similar landing strips at several other locations in the country, the Minister informed.”NHAI is making emergency landing strips at 20 other locations as well. They are also making helipads. This is a major step from a security perspectives,” he said.

Both Mr Singh and Mr Gadkari called it a ‘historic day’.Speaking after the inauguration, Mr Gadkari said there were several problems encountered pertaining to existing rules and regulations in executing the ‘out of the box’ project.

The NHAI had developed around three km-long section of Satta-Gandhav stretch of NH-925A as an Emergency Landing Facility (ELF) for the Indian Air Force, which is a part of newly-developed two-lane paved shoulder of Gagariya-Bakhasar and Satta-Gandhav Section under ‘Bharatmala Pariyojana’.


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