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Erosion leaves Shimla airport short by 300 feet

By: ML Verma

Shimla: Civil airport, Shimla, situated at Jubberhati, about 20km from here, registered 300-feet soil erosion last year, thereby reducing its capacity to accommodate heavy aircrafts. Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, who also holds the portfolio of tourism and civil aviation, stated in a wrtten reply to a query raised by Rakesh Verma (Theog-Idp.) in the Assembly today that the runway of Shimla airport has shrunk by 300 feet due to soil erosion.

He informed that the actual length of the airport has reduced to 3,800 feet from 4,100 feet due to soil erosion. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has planned to undertake restoration work so that effective length of the runway could be restored to the original. The state government and AAI have appointed a team from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee, to provide technical knowhow to further improve the strip, which provided its feasibility report in this regard recently. Funds to the tunes of Rs 150 core would be needed to extend the functional length of the airport.

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