India is prepared to defend its unity, integrity, sovereignty: Rajnath Singh

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Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. (Photo/ ANI)
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. (Photo/ ANI)

Jalore (Rajasthan) [India], September 9 (ANI): Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said that the country is prepared to defend its unity, integrity and sovereignty and is capable to deal with any challenges.

While inaugurating an emergency landing field on the national highway in Rajasthan's Jalore, Singh said: "Having an emergency landing field so close to the international border shows that India is always prepared to defend its unity, integrity, and sovereignty. It shows that India is capable to deal with any challenge."

The Union Minister further said that the emergency landing fields are useful during any natural disaster.

The Indian Air Force's C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria onboard landed at Emergency Field Landing at the National Highway in Jalore, Rajasthan on Thursday.

"This emergency landing field and the three helipads will not only be useful in the time of war but carry out rescue and relief operations during any natural disaster."

He also informed that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is preparing emergency landing fields at 20 locations and also constructing helipads at many locations.

Speaking at the same event, Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said, "Whenever an out-of-the-box idea is proposed, apprehensions emerge. But glad for the support from the Defence Ministry and the Airforce that has led to the successful launch of this 3 km long road-cum-air strip."

Defence Minister and Union Road Transport and Highways Minister will also inaugurate the Emergency Landing Facility on Satta-Gandhav stretch of National Highway (NH) 925A in Rajasthan's Barmer on Thursday.

This is the first time that the National Highway will be used for emergency landing of aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

According to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had developed a three kilometres section of the Satta-Gandhav stretch of NH-925A from Km. 41/430 to Km. 44/430 as an Emergency Landing Facility (ELF) for the Indian Air Force, which is part of the newly developed two-lane paved shoulder of Gagariya-Bakhasar and Satta-Gandhav Section having a total length of 196.97 kilometres and costing of Rs 765.52 crores under Bharatmala Pariyojana.

"This project will improve connectivity between villages of Barmer and Jalore districts located on the international borders. The stretch is located in the western border area will facilitate the vigilance of the Indian Army as well as strengthen the basic infrastructure of the country," said the official statement.

Apart from this Emergency Landing Strip, three helipads (size 100 x 30 meters each) have been constructed in Kundanpura, Singhania and Bakhasar villages in this project according to the requirements of the Air Force and Indian Army, which will be the basis for strengthening the Indian Army and security network on the western international border of the country.

The ELF was constructed in a time span of 19 months. The work for this ELF was commenced in July 2019 and was completed in January 2021. The work was carried out by GHV India Pvt. Ltd under the supervision of IAF and NHAI.

"During the normal time, the ELF will be used for smooth flow of road traffic. But during the operations of ELF for Indian Air Force orders, the service road will be used for smooth flow of road traffic. It has been constructed in 3.5 Km length. This landing strip will be able to facilitate the landing of all types of aircraft of IAF," said the ministry.

The development of roadways as key infrastructure has led to the construction of high-quality highways and expressways that could be utilised as runways along with some modifications and construction of limited additional infrastructure for the operation of various types of aircraft during emergencies. (ANI)

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