SRINAGAR: Amid the standoff between Indian and Chinese armies in Ladakh, work has started for the construction of an emergency airstrip in Kashmir. Men and machinery is at work at Bijbehara in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district for constructing an emergency airstrip next to the Jammu-Srinagar national highway.
The construction work for the 3.5 km airstrip has come at a time when Indian and Chinese armies are facing a standoff at some points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.
Officials, however, said that this is an old project and there is no link between the two. “The work is for emergency landing, in case the situation turns bad in Srinagar, flights can land and take-off from here. The total stretch is 3.5 km, and we have to complete the work in eight months,” said Pravin, a survey engineer.
The go ahead for the project had come many months back, but got stalled due to winter and corona virus pandemic. The effort is on to complete the work before snow falls and the winter sets in.
“100 to 150 people have got work, we will complete the work in seven, eight months, before the snow falls. All of us, Kashmiris and men from Haryana, are doing the work, so there is no problem. The work is going on well,” said Shiva, a grid operator at the construction site.