PM Modi unveils Arunachal’s first greenfield airport

Updated on Nov 20, 2022 06:45 AM IST

“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 materialise. But the project’s inauguration within three years is a befitting reply to such commentators,” Modi said in his address.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the inauguration of Arunachal Pradesh’s first greenfield airport, Donyi Polo Airport, in Itanagar on Saturday. (ANI/ PIB)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the inauguration of Arunachal Pradesh’s first greenfield airport, Donyi Polo Airport, in Itanagar on Saturday. (ANI/ PIB)
By, Guwahati

Powers in Delhi “ignored northeast” for many decades but that changed after former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee came to power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Arunachal Pradesh on Saturday, while inaugurating the state’s first greenfield airport at Hollongi, located 25 km from the state capital Itanagar.

“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 materialise. But the project’s inauguration within three years is a befitting reply to such commentators,” Modi said in his address.

“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,” added Modi.

“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.”

The PM, who also dedicated the 600 MW Kameng Hydro Power Station to the nation, underlined the natural beauty of Arunachal Pradesh and said that the state has great potential for tourism.

“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 — colloquially referred to as the sun and moon in the indigenous religion of the state — the airport will provide direct flights from Itanagar to the rest of the country. It is the fourth operational airport in the state and 16th in the northeast.

Spread over 690 acres and built at a cost of 640 crore, the airport is expected to boost tourism in the state, improve transportation of indigenously produced good and agricultural products to all parts of the country and help patients travel to other places for improved treatment.

With a runway of 2,300m, the airport is suitable for all weather day operations.

The Kameng hydro power station inaugurated by the PM is the largest such project commissioned in the region with a potential to generate 3,353 million units of energy annually, the government said in a statement. It will provide nearly 398 million units (equivalent to 200 crore) of free power to Arunachal.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Utpal is a Senior Assistant Editor based in Guwahati. He covers seven states of North-East India and heads the editorial team for the region. He was previously based in Kathmandu, Dehradun and Delhi with Hindustan Times.

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