Itanagar: On Saturday Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Arunachal Pradesh’s first greenfield airport at Hollongi near Itanagar and dedicated the 600 MW Kameng hydropower station to the nation.
Situated near the capital, the airport will improve connectivity. It is also expected to support tourism in the state, improve transportation of indigenously produced goods and agri-products to all parts of the country and assist patients to travel to other places for better treatment.
“When I laid the foundation stone of this airport in February 2019 ahead of the general elections, political commentators stated it was a poll stunt and wouldn’t materialize. But the inauguration of this project today within three years is a befitting reply to such commentators,” Modi said in his address.
“With the airport becoming operational, farmers of Arunachal Pradesh would now be able to send their products to other parts of the country. It would help them earn much more for their products,” he added.
Named after Donyi-Polo, names given to the sun and moon in the local religion of the state and spread over 690 acres, built at a cost of ₹640 crores, it is the fourth operational airport in the northeastern state and the 16th in the northeast. The air terminal has 2,300 m and is reasonable for all-weather operations. The airport terminal is a modern building promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy, and recyclable resources. “For many decades northeast was ignored by the powers in Delhi, but we changed that after Atal Bihari Vajpayee come to power. But the successive governments didn’t continue the process,” Modi further said in his address after the inauguration.
“It was after we came to power again in 2014 that the region was again given importance. Now the region is in focus right from culture to agriculture, commerce to connectivity, trade to tourism, and telecom to textile,” he added.
After the inauguration of the airport, PM Modi dedicated the 600 MW Kameng Hydro Power station to the country. Built at a cost of ₹8,450 crores, the Kameng power project is the largest such project commissioned in the region with the possibility to generate 3353 million units of energy per annum. It will provide nearly 398 million units (equivalent to ₹200 crores) of free power to Arunachal. It is also estimated to generate ₹8,000 crores in revenue for the northeastern state.
The PM, in his address, also said that as part of the vibrant border village program, work is on to stop the migration of residents to other places and promote tourism in the state.
“Efforts are on to strengthen border villages in the state by giving them the status of vibrant border villages. When avenues of new possibilities open up in every border village, it will be the start of prosperity,” said Modi.
Efforts are additionally on to associate youths from border areas with National Cadet Corps (NCC). These youths can get further trained and become officers in the defense forces, said Modi.