STATE TIMES NEWSNEW DELHI: Nagaland Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio along with a delegation of senior officers, on Wednesday met Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) and MoS PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh and discussed with him the proposal for setting up an airport at ‘Ciethu’ in the capital city of Kohima. Dr Jitendra Singh conveyed to the Chief Minister that the proposal to set up an airport at Kohima is being pursued very seriously by the DoNER Ministry and after an appropriate site was identified by the State Government, a technical feasibility report was also prepared by the Airport Authority of India which was favorable for an all-weather airport. The Chief Minister conveyed to the DoNER Minister that the total estimated cost to set up an airport could be around Rs. 6,000 crore and requested that a part of it could be funded by the Ministry of Northeast (DoNER) or the North-Eastern Council (NEC). The DoNER Minister informed the Chief Minister that a proposal has been sent by his Ministry for sanction of Rs 1,000 crore towards the project. The Chief Minister, in a letter addressed to the DoNER Minister, informed that in a recent meeting between the officials of Union Civil Aviation Ministry and the State Government, it was observed that while a runway of 4.4 kms had been proposed, but if there is a funding constraint, a runway of 2.5 kms could also be considered. However, because of the strategic and defence related importance of the airport, the State Government was of the view that a runway with 4.4 kms length would be best suited, he said. Dr Jitendra Singh conveyed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s high prioritization of all the eight North Eastern States, particularly the far-flung ones like Nagaland. He said, under the directions of the Prime Minister, all the development projects of NE are put on a fast-track and a follow-up is done on regular basis to complete these projects within the stipulated timeline. Dr Jitendra Singh also conveyed keen desire of the Modi Government to ensure equitable development of Nagaland and at the same time, find a lasting end to insurgency-related incidents.
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