India External Affairs Minister VK Singh has said that the country is planning to build a new airport in Tawang, close to the Indo-China border.
Tawang is one of the districts in the state of Arunachal Pradesh in north-eastern India. The region is under dispute with China.
However, Singh said there is a problem with the availability of land to develop an airport.
The Indian Government is planning to develop airstrips in Arunachal Pradesh to service small aircraft. A separate company will be established to work in collaboration with the state-owned Indian Airlines to operate small aircraft in the north-east.
Construction on another airport at Pashighat in the state is underway.
The Economic Times quoted Singh as saying: "The land acquisition problem for the airport in Itanagar, Arunachal’s capital, has just been sorted out."
"But there is a problem with land availability in Tawang."
The minister was in Beijing recently to attend the fourth ministerial meeting of the Afghanistan-centric Istanbul Process.
Singh’s announcement comes soon after the Chinese Government approved the construction of a strategically important high-altitude railway track in Tibet. The $6bn project is being opposed by India as it is located close to Arunachal Pradesh.
In addition to the airport, the Indian Government is also considering the construction of a new highway as a part of its efforts for major infrastructure development in the region. The railway budget for the region has been increased by 58%.
Image: Tawang is part of Arunachal Pradesh, which is under dispute with China. Photo: courtesy of Appaji.