Blurred vision

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 10/14/2018 12:38:44 PM IST

 All these past decades, Dimapur airport, which began ferrying civilian air passengers since the mid-70s, has been serving the air travellers of Nagaland, Karbi Anglong and parts of upper Assam but airports that became operational a decade or two later, have scaled higher in terms of amenities and connectivity. This may seem puzzling but not difficult to understand since the factors responsible for the stagnation have been reported time and again in this newspaper since the early 90s. The unsolved problems that have created obstacles against improvement of Dimapur airport to the highest national standards have not been solved. The obstacles have been precipitated by the attitudes of both the state government and in some measure, also by the Airports Authority and the ministry of civil aviation. In this regard the present director of the airports authority of India at Dimapur airport had placed facts in public domain during an interview to this newspaper last Saturday. What was disclosed by the director solidified what used to be reported in the past about the inaction or too little action of the state government in handling various issues pertaining to the expansion and improvement of Dimapur airport. One of the problems that was pointed out was the government’s inaction over providing the required land. In a significant statement, the director had said: “the Airports Authority of India and the regional headquarters have written many letters to the state government for many years but there has been no satisfactory reply.” According to the report, the airports authority needed some land towards the end of the runway bounded by river Chathe. It also needed land on both sides of the runway to facilitate safe glide path for aircrafts. The land required are presently under occupation of two villages that had been established after Dimapur airport came into being during the Second World War. However, the state government has not responded to the pleas of the airports authority of India with regard to providing needed land space for expansion to facilitate wider bodied aircrafts for international flights. It may also be pointed out that the present impasse caused by the state government’s neglect to improve Dimapur airport runs parallel with the same kind of attitude with regard to improvement of Dimapur railway station. In a way, the same attitude of slow or no response had created severe hurdles for the four-lane highway during 2002 to 2004. Specifically, Dimapur airport should have been expanded a decade ago but the state government tripped over land acquisition. Had the state government provided the land, then Dimapur airport would have been in another level of standard. This could have certainly attracted better attention from the ministry of civil aviation. It is clear that the state government lacks focus on priorities because have been sacrificed at the altar of political and selfish interests. On one side, the state government talks much about promoting tourism, trade etc but it does not seem to think that improvement of facilities and connectivity at Dimapur airport and Dimapur railway station should form the basis for its economic vision. While Imphal, Dibrugarh, Jorhat airports are fast moving down the runway of international connectivity because of vast improvement of facilities, Dimapur airport is being grounded due to impediments which both the state government and the airports authority have contributed.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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