Aviation

Sikkim to get connected by rail, air soon

KOLKATA

Sikkim’s first greenfield airport at Pakyong will be operational by 2017, which will provide a direct connectivity to the landlocked state and also help boost tourism, Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region Jitendra Singh said.

“By 2017, the greenfield airport at Pakyong will be functional. It got delayed because of the rehabilitation process. Once the airport is functional, the state will have direct connectivity,” Singh told Gulf News over phone.

Built at a cost of Rs3 billion (Dh162 million), the Pakyong airport is being constructed by Airport Authority of India (AAI) on a 200-acre land. The airport is being built at an altitude of 4,700 feet which will be one of the five highest airports in India. Presently, the nearest airport to Sikkim is located 124 kilometres away at Bagdogra in West Bengal.

The minister also informed of connecting the landlocked state via rail network. “There is also a plan to connect Sikkim with the country’s rail network and after the present government took over under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, this will be the third Northeastern state after Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh to be brought on the rail map of India.”

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