IAF To Set Up Major Airbase In Nobra Valley

IAF To Set Up Major Airbase In Nobra Valley

2 April 2012
Rising Kashmir
Wasim Khalid

Srinagar: In order to boost its strategic capabilities in the eastern parts of Jammu and Kashmir bordering China, Indian Air Force (IAF) is all set to establish another major airbase in Nobra Valley in Ladakh region on the sprawling 10,000 kanals of land. A senior officer said a high level IAF team had a meeting with Principal Secretary to Chief Minister some 10 days back. “The IAF team briefed the State official about their plans to convert small air station at Nobra Valley into a major airbase.” He said IAF members moved the land acquisition papers on behalf of defense ministry and sought transfer of land for construction of new airbase from the state government officially. “The land is already under the use of military. There is also small hilltop air force station,” the official, who was privy to the meeting, told Rising Kashmir. Maintaining that IAF wants to construct a major airbase in Nobra Valley, he said, “They would be spending hundreds of crores to upgrade the airbase with infrastructure and strategic facilities to remain prepared for any aggression from the neighboring countries especially China”. The official said IAF is interested in acquiring 10,000 kanals of land for the airbase. “During the meeting, the government asked IAF to bring No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Ladakh Hill Development Council (LAHDC),” he said adding it is must that before government officially transfers land to IAF, LAHDC should clear the land acquisition. He said J&K government has also asked IAF team to bring revenue records from concerned deputy commissioner. “We have given them a list of pending formalities that they should complete before land transfer is set into motion”. Deputy Commissioner Leh, T Angchuk said a tactical operational air station already lies in Nobra Valley. “Rest I have no information about anything. The air station area lies under defense. It would be better to contact them and get details,” he said. However, Defence spokesman Lt Col J S Brar could not be reached for the comment. Meanwhile, senior government functionary said they have been informed by military and IAF that they were upgrading the airbases in Kargil and Nobra Valley as part of overall defense preparedness. “After upgradation of Nobra air base, big aircrafts including transport carriers would land in Nobra Valley. Both the kargil and Nobra valley air strips would be converted into major airbases to meet the security challenges from China and Pakistan,” he said. Rising Kashmir has already reported that alerted by growing influence of China in northern areas of Pakistan administered Kashmir and occasional “aggressions” on eastern borders of Ladakh, IAF is planning to convert Kargil airbase as one of its largest air stations in North India by acquiring 2000 kanals of land from Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Kargil. India has been keeping close tabs on China's massive build-up of military infrastructure all along the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control. Defense minister A.K Antony has repeatedly said that India is strengthening its security capabilities in the eastern border.