The Bold Voice of J&K

Air connectivity

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As far as Jammu and Kashmir is concerned it has three airports at Jammu, Srinagar and Leh. If the State Government wants to boost trade and tourism it can link peripheral airstrips with the main airports by providing better linking infrastructure so that people from interiors can utlise these services along with the tourism which would change the economic face of the area. The Jammu and Kashmir Government should work on promoting these airstrips for boosting tourism and these can be used as nodal points at the time of calamities to carryout rescue and relief operations like the devastation saw during the 2014 floods and landslides. Last year Centre had planned to make regional defunct small airports operative to boost tourism especially to attract high income and middle income tourists. Most of the northern states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Punjab also have some which have been activated. Like that  Jammu and Kashmir too has some airstrips in Rajouri, Poonch built by army and one at Sudhmahadev in Udhampur district built by Yoga Guru Dhirendra Brahmachari  for personal use have hardly been tapped for their commercial use.  The Union Government’s has  injected funds to spruce up such facilities to improve regional air connectivity but here in Jammu and Kashmir the subject has been a neglected one as till date the State Government was never able to project the economic potential of these airstrips. Besides improving regional connectivity, the Union Finance Minister is hoping that this will boost the regional economy as well. The revival of more airports means more flights and more revenue in the region. The malady with these regional airports is despite spending crores by the Union Government they have failed to generate the much needed passenger and freight load to make them economically viable.  Any such futuristic plan to revive the defunct airstrips in Jammu and Kashmir would surely give wings to the trade and tourism in the region.

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