PM Modi inaugurates Pakyong airport, Sikkim’s first airport

RSTV Bureau
Pakyong airport - Sikkim's first airport was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 24, 2018.

Pakyong airport – Sikkim’s first airport was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 24, 2018.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday dedicated Sikkim’s first greenfield airport at Pakyong to the nation and said it was a historic day for the hill state as well as the country.

With the inauguration of this airport, the country currently has 100 airports, Modi said.

“It is a historic day not only for Sikkim but also an important day for the country. Our country now has 100 airports. Since Independence till 2014, the country had only 65 airports but in the past four years, we have set up 35 more airports,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister was addressing a gathering at a school ground after inaugurating the airport.

“We are committed to making the Northeast as engine of India’s growth story. For the first time since Independence, stress has been given on increasing connectivity by both air and rail, electricity in remote areas of the Northeast and building infrastructure,” he said.

Sikkim’s dream of having an airport came true nine years after the foundation stone for it was laid here, around 33 km from state capital Gangtok, in 2009.

The first commercial flight from Pakyong would begin from October 4.

Located around 60 km from the Indo-China border, the airport is spread across over 201 acres and is located on the top of a hill about two km above Pakyong village at 4,500 feet above sea level, Sikkim Chief Secretary A K Srivastava has said.

PM Modi dedicated Pakyong airport to the nation and said previous governments worked in a slow pace for ushering in development.

He said in the last 70 years, the country had 400 aircraft but in one year 1,000 new aircraft were ordered by various airlines.

“Our efforts were to enable common people who wear hawai chappal to travel by hawai jahaj (aeroplane),” he said.

Reiterating the slogan ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ (Support for All, development for all), he said, “In several states of the North East, work for connectivity, providing electricity, highways and infrastructure are taking place for the first time.”

He said the greenfield airport in Sikkim will not just improve connectivity between “landlocked and bordering” Sikkim, but will also boost tourism and other economic activities in the state.

“It will lead to creation of more jobs for the youth and greater economic activity as more hotels, home stays, restaurants etc are slated to come up,” he stated.

Modi also said initially flights will operate to Kolkata and Guwahati from Pakyong and subsequently it would be connected to other parts of the country.

Sikkim’s dream of having an airport came true nine years after the foundation stone for it was laid here, around 33 km from state capital Gangtok, in 2009.

Located around 60 km from the Indo-China border, the airport is spread across over 201 acres and is on the top of a hill about two-km above Pakyong village at 4,500 feet above sea level.

(With inputs from PTI)