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Ministry of defence to run Kargil airport

December 29, 2002

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NEW DELHI, Dec 28: The Kargil Airport, bordering the Line of Control in Kashmir, would be handed over to the defence ministry as it was vulnerable to shelling by Pakistani forces, India’s Civil Aviation Minister Shahnawaz Hussain was quoted as saying on Saturday.

The airport in the Ladakh region was destroyed during Kargil war.

Mr Hussain, who inaugurated a new terminal, the apron and an extended runway at the Jammu Civil Airport, said the Kargil Airport is being renovated for Civil Aviation purposes.

“Now the ministry of defence will look after the airport and its flight for the passengers,” Mr Hussain said and added that it was very difficult to look after the airport because it comes in the shelling zone from across the Line of Control.

In March 2000, then civil aviation minister Chaman Lal Gupta had said that his ministry had earmarked Rs350 million for Kargil airport but work worth Rs200 million had been damaged in Pakistani shelling.

He had indicated at the time that a project was being undertaken to expand the Kargil airport. He said that he had requested the defence ministry to allow the civil aviation ministry to acquire over 104 kanals of land around the Jammu airport for expansion of the airport.—Jay Enn