For the first time ever in India Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari jointly inaugurated the country’s first National Highway dedicated for emergency landing of aircraft of India Air Force.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari & Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria landed during the demonstration on the national highway in Rajasthan’s Barmer district aboard the C-130 J Super Hercules aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF)
Raksha Mantri during the inaugural ceremony said, “to improve the operational capabilities of the Army, the National Highway Authority of India is developing emergency landing fields at many places in the country. It will also help relief operations during natural disasters”.
Under the ambitious BharatmalaPariyojana, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) had developed a 3km section of Satta-Gandhavstrech of NH-925A from Km. 41/430- Km. 44/430 as an emergency landing facility for the Indian Air Force, which is part of the newly constructed two-lane paved shoulder of Gagariya-Bakhasar and Satta-Gandhav section, having a total length of 197 km built at a cost of 765.56 crores.
The ELF (emergency landing facility) is built within 19 months, commenced in July 2019, and concluded in January 2021. Apart from the emergency landing strip, 3 helipads ( 100*30 meters each) have been constructed in Kundanpura, Bakhasar, and Singhania villages. This NH project is aimed to improve connectivity between the villages of Barmer and Jalore districts located at International borders. The NH-925 is India’s first national highway to be used for emergency landing of IAF aircraft.
Officials told PTI a total of 27 other highways, apart from the one in Barmer, are being currently studied jointly by the IAF and the NHAI to see if emergency landing strips can be developed on them in the future.