India plans new airport in Tawang close to Chinese border

2 November 2014 (Last Updated November 2nd, 2014 18:30)

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.

AP

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.

"The land acquisition problem for the airport in Itanagar, Arunachal's capital, has just been sorted out."

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.