To accommodate larger IAF and commercial aircraft, the government is building a 2,500-meter-long runway at Minicoy Island in Lakshadweep. The project is crucial from a strategic perspective since it will monitor India’s international borders and boost regional dominance and tourism.]
The closest island to Kochi, one of the Navy’s largest bases, and one that is strategically positioned is Minicoy. As a result, the airstrip will enable India to inspect the water area, which is used by both China and Pakistan. Senior officials who are aware of the situation stated that the project has received preliminary permission and that the budget would be finalized soon.
Importance of the Project
The project, which includes ideas from the home and civil aviation ministries, as well as the Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard, is anticipated to be finished within the next five years.
The Srinagar airport, which has restricted commercial aircraft activity and is managed by the Indian Air Force, would be comparable to the one in Lakshadweep. With a separate hangar, the coast guard will be better able to patrol the area and will do so more frequently. Choppers can be used by the military to intercept any suspicious activity in the region. Additionally, a consultant has been retained to assess the project’s viability.
Why Is it Important For India’s Defence?
The Nine- and Eight-Degree Channels on this route are vital for shipping between different parts of the world, especially Europe. The coast guard, Air Force, and other forces would have an advantage in monitoring and controlling the movement if Minicoy Island had an airport. It is also the segment of the String of Pearls that is closest to the Maldives. However, with the support of Pakistan, which is always engaged in the illegal trade of narcotics, guns, etc., China’s dream of dominance on maritime routes would be put to rest by the construction of this airstrip.
In geostrategic jargon, the Strait of Malacca, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the Maldives, the Strait of Hormuz, and Somalia are referred to as the “String of Pearls.” Bangladesh and Myanmar are also included in the Chinese agenda.
A report claims that China is developing a plan to strengthen its position in the Indian Ocean in order to maximize its advantages there and reduce Indian influence there. China was anticipated to build up military and civilian facilities in specific locations on the islands or ports.
On the other side, the Nine Degree Channel, which is 200 degrees wide and separates Kalpeni, Suheli, and Minicoy, is almost entirely used for commercial shipping between South-East Asia and the Far East and Europe, the Middle East, and Western Asia.
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Tourists will be able to go without issue to the island thanks to the new airport, as they currently have to pay for pricey flights and accommodations. There will be more flights in the vicinity of the airport.
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