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Amid Ladakh border tension, NHAI starts work on emergency airstrip in south Kashmir

Amid the India-Chinese stand-off along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) is constructing an emergency landing strip in south Kashmir on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway.

The officials, however, said the landing strip has nothing to do with the confrontation with China and termed it as an old project which was approved sometime ago.

The work has started adjacent to the newly constructed national highway between Srinagar and Jammu near south Kashmir’s Bijbehara area.

An NHAI officer said the project involves construction of a 3.5-kilometre emergency landing strip. “It was already in the plan when the construction of the new national highway began in Kashmir. The work couldn’t be taken up earlier due to the Covid-19 lockdown.”

Officials said that earth laying work is already going at full pace and special passes have been issued to people engaged with the construction.

Once completed, the airstrip could be used in emergency situations, the officials said adding that the area where the strip is coming up is centrally placed.

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