On Wednesday (19 October), Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation for a new air base at Deesa in the northern Gujarat district of Banaskantha, close to the border with Pakistan.
After laying the foundation, the Prime Minister stated that the forward air force base will add to the security architecture of the country.
Noting Deesa’s proximity with the border, the Prime Minister said that now India is better prepared to respond to any misadventure on the western borders.
“This region will now become an effective centre of security of the country,” Modi added.
Once finished, it will close a 355-kilometre strategic gap between the Bhuj and Uttarlai air bases.
According to officials, the station's development will take place in two stages at an estimated cost of Rs 980 crore.
The Centre approved the development of a full-fledged air base in 2020.
Deesa is a 4,519-acre greenfield airbase. The site was acquired by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 1983, according to IAF authorities. The campus now only has a 22-kilometre boundary wall and 20 watchtowers as its infrastructure.
The Engineer in Chief, Lt Gen Harpal Singh, has said that the whole air station has been worked out in a manner such that it will all be finished by December 2023, reports the Economic Times.
The primary runway, parallel taxiway, loop taxiway, and fighter squadron dispersal area are all being built in phase-1.
Infrastructure for roads and drainage will also be built. Technical infrastructure and residential accommodation will be planned in phase-2, according to the air force officials.
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