Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu on December 28 visited the construction site of the ambitious Greenfield Airport at Hollongi near Itanagar and took stock of the work progress on ground.
The Hollongi airport is supposed to be completed by November 2022 as per the original agreement with construction agencies. However, the central and state government authorities are pushing for its commissioning by August, 2022.
Once commissioned, the Greenfield Airport at Hollongi will be the first in Arunachal Pradesh with a runway of 2300 meters eligible for landing and take-off of Boeing 747 aircraft.
Speaking to reporters at the runway site, chief minister Pema Khandu expressed satisfaction over the progress on ground despite the hurdles posed by the COVID-19 pandemic during the last two years.
He informed that of the 2300-meter runway at Hollongi airport, work on 1500 meter has been completed.
“This is a dream project of entire population of Arunachal Pradesh. We need to thank the central government for extending all out support in fulfilling the dream that too on time. We also need to appreciate all the agencies involved in construction of the airport who are working day and night to meet the deadline despite hurdles,” he said.
Khandu assured that the pre-fabricated terminal building will be in place by early next year.
“The pre-fabricated terminal building will be temporary while construction of the permanent building will continue. Once the permanent structure is ready, the temporary structures will be utilized as cargo area,” he explained.
The chief minister further informed that keeping in view the possibilities of future expansion, the government has acquired about 500 Sqm of land beyond the runway while the Kokila River that runs along the airport boundary is being diverted.
“There are no external hurdles and work is going on smoothly. There are few internal issues that the agencies are sincerely working on,” Khandu said.
Later, the chief minister held an internal review meeting with all project stakeholders wherein he was informed that the Hollongi airport passenger terminal building of approx. 4100 Sqm will be designed such as to handle 100 arriving and 100 departing passengers at a time with scope for future expansion.
While acquisition of required land (5 acres) on Assam side, shifting of 132 KV Power Grid line and diversion of Kokila river are under process about 74% work has been done on the 4-lane approach road of about 4 km to the Hollongi airport, which will be completed by January 31 next year.
Project executioners informed that ongoing works were affected due to COVID-19, particularly the second phase of lockdowns imposed by the governments, unavailability of construction materials and parts of machineries in nearby areas and its restricted movement. Work agencies couldn’t maintain sufficient manpower at the project site due to fear of COVID-19 break out, they said. Also shifting of habitants and high-tension power lines along the proposed runway alignment got delayed due to the pandemic.
Khandu was accompanied by MP Tapir Gao, home minister Bamang Felix, legislators Biyuram Wahge, Jikke Tako and Hayang Mangfi along with chief secretary Naresh Kumar and other officials.