New Delhi: Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari Thursday said emergency landing facilities will be developed at 19 other places to strengthen the country’s security.
Inaugurating the emergency landing facility on National Highway 925A in Rajasthan with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, he said this highway runway will further strengthen the country’s security in protecting the strategically important borders.
According to an official statement, Gadkari said the 19 other places in the country include Phalodi – Jaisalmer road and Barmer – Jaisalmer road in Rajasthan, Kharagpur – Balasore road in West Bengal, Hashimara -Guwahati road in Assam, Bhuj – Naliya road in Gujarat, Leh/Nyoma area in Assam and on the Jorhat-Baraghat road, among others.
The minister said under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the construction of the world-class National Highway is being done at a record speed.
“Now, our National Highways will also be of use to the army, which will make our country more secure and always ready for emergency situations,” the statement quoted Gadkari as saying.
A Hercules C-130J plane of the IAF, carrying the two ministers and Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, conducted a mock emergency landing on the national highway Thursday. NH-925 is India’s first national highway to be used for emergency landing by IAF aircraft.
The two ministers also witnessed multiple aircraft operations on the emergency landing facility (ELF) of NH-925. Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jet conducted a mock emergency landing at the ELF. IAF chief R K Bhadauria was also present on the occasion.
In October 2017, fighter jets and transport planes of the IAF had conducted mock landings on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway to show that such highways can be used by the IAF planes for landing in case of an emergency.
Lucknow-Agra Expressway, which is not a national highway, comes under the Uttar Pradesh government.
The emergency landing strip, which was inaugurated Thursday, is part of the newly developed two-lane paved shoulder of the Gagariya-Bakhasar and Satta-Gandhav section having a total length of 196.97 km and costing Rs 765.52 crore under the Bharatmala Pariyojana.
This highway project will improve connectivity between villages of Barmer and Jalore districts located on the international border.
Apart from the emergency landing strip, three helipads (size 100×30 metres each) have been constructed in Kundanpura, Singhania and Bakhasar villages under this project, according to the requirements of the IAF and the Indian Army.
The ELF and three helipads have been developed to strengthen the security network on the western international border of the country.
During normal times, the ELF will be used for smooth flow of road traffic and during the operations of ELF for the IAF, the service road will be used for smooth flow of traffic.
It was constructed in 19 months. The work commenced in July 2019 and was completed in January 2021. It is developed by GHV India Pvt Ltd under the supervision of the IAF and NHAI.