India achieves air connectivity of all states with Pakyong airport in Sikkim
25 September 2018
With the inauguration of Sikkim’s first airport by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, every state in the country now has an airport and the country can claim to have achieved full air connectivity within.
The green field airport at Pakyong, spread across 201 acres on the top of a hill about two-km above Pakyong village, 4,500 feet above sea level, is around 33 km from Gangtok and around 60 km from the Indo-China border.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Pakyong Airport in Sikkim, the foundation stone for which was laid in 2009. This is the first airport in the Himalayan state, and the 100th airport in the country.
The prime minister described the day as a historic one for Sikkim, and an important one for India. He said that with Pakyong Airport, the country has hit a century of airports. The prime minister also mentioned the young cricketer from Sikkim, Nilesh Lamichanay, who recently became the first cricketer from the state to score a century in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Modi said that Pakyong Airport would greatly ease connectivity to Sikkim. He said that in order to ensure that it is useful to the common man, this airport will be part of the UDAN scheme.
The prime minister said emphasis is being given to enhance both infrastructural and emotional connectivity in the entire North Eastern region, at a rapid rate. He said he has personally visited the North Eastern states several times to review development work. Besides this, he added, union ministers also regularly visit the region. He said the results of this are visible on the ground. He mentioned enhanced air and rail connectivity, better roads, big bridges etc.
The prime minister said that out of 100 airports in the country today, 35 have been operationalised in the last four years.
He also mentioned Sikkim's progress in organic farming, adding that the union government has initiated the "Mission Organic Value Development for North Eastern Region."