NHs to have 11 emergency airstrips for disaster relief

NHs to have 11 emergency airstrips for disaster relief

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To ensure speedy deployment of relief material in times of disasters, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has decided to put up 11 emergency airstrips on National Highways across the country, BusinessLine reports.

According to the report, the first such airstrip has been planned on National Highway 151 near Khambhaliya in Gujarat, according to Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways.

Citing lack of road and rail accessibility during times of disasters like earthquakes and rains, Mandaviya said that air connectivity was the only way to ensure relief material could be sent to affected areas on time.

Mandaviya said that 13 roads have been identified for the emergency airstrips, of which 2 are in state control, and the rest are under the control of the NHAI. The other states to have the airstrips are Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan.

The IAF and NHAI will be undertaking site surveys and inspection before setting up the airstrips. The strips themselves will consist of an ATC tower, a parking slot for four aircraft, a 5-6 km long strip with a 60-metre wide concrete road. All obstacles such as electrical wires, telecom poles and trees will be removed from the sites where the strips will be built.