PAKYONG (SIKKIM), Sept 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated the Sikkim’s first-ever Airport at Pakyong. Besides being the first airport in this Himalayan State, it also happens to be the 100th airport in the country.
Addressing a large public gathering on the occasion, Prime Minister described the day as a historic one for Sikkim and an important one for India. He said that with Pakyong Airport, the country has hit a century of airports. He also mentioned the young cricketer from Sikkim, Nilesh Lamichanay, who recently became the first cricketer from the State to score a century in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Modi said that Pakyong Airport would greatly ease connectivity to Sikkim. He said that in order to ensure that it is useful to the common man, this airport is part of the UDAN scheme.
Prime Minister said that emphasis is being given to enhance both infrastructural and emotional connectivity in the entire North Eastern region, at a rapid rate. He said he has personally visited the North Eastern States several times to review development work. He said the results of this are visible on the ground.
Modi said that out of 100 airports in the country today, 35 have been operationalized in the last four years.
Breifing the media persons later, DoNER Minister Dr Jitendra Singh expressed great satisfaction and pride at the inauguration of the first-ever airport in the hill State of Sikkim and said, this was a herculean task even for engineers and therefore, one of the most difficult technical achievements to have been accomplished. He said, it is because of the personal intervention of Prime Minister Narenrda Modi that the Sikkim airport project, which was conceived over ten years ago, was put on fast-track and completed within four years after the present government took over.
Dr Jitendra Singh mentioned that Sikkim was the first State of India to be declared “Open Defecation Free” (ODF), the first State of India to be declared as “Organic State” and now, the first to have this airport, which is unique of its kind.