Aizawl, Sept 24: The main opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) has strongly opposed to the state government decision and initiative to hand over Mizoram’s lone Lengpui Airport to the Indian Air force and said that it would intensify its resistance unless the measures are withdrawn.
Terming the decision as ‘unfortunate’, MNF said that the state government has again mulled to hand over the airport to AIF after negotiation between Mizoram (Congress) government and Air Authority of India to hand over Lengpui airport to the latter ended in deadlock. The Mizoram’s lone Lengpui Airport is looked after by the Civil Aviation Wing under GAD, Government of Mizoram which is a portfolio looked after by Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla.
MNF said that its founder president Laldenga was instrumental in the construction of Lengpui Airport. The late leader according to MNF had made an outstanding contribution to the construction for which he kept on meeting Union Civil Aviation Minister despite the latter’s refusal to construct airport which ostensibly to incur loss.
In the meeting convened with the presence of former Union Civil Aviation Minister, Union Civil Aviation Secretary, Joint Secretary and Director and representatives of National Airport Authority, Laldenga had reiterated the need for airport in Mizoram which only received a rebuff from the Union leaders saying they did not agree with the construction of a 80 crore cost Lengpui Airport which would bring no profit to India. However, after the MNF leader argued that he did come to talk about business but development for Mizoram, the meeting then unanimously agreed to send a survey team for the construction of the airport, MNF said.
During its previous rule, the Congress government had completed the ‘runway’ and begun the construction of terminal building which was resumed by Zoramthanga led MNF government, MNF said in a statement.
The Mizoram’s lone Lengpui Airport was inaugurated in December 1998 by the then Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani.
MNF strongly said that it would not allow the Indian Airforce to take over Lengpui Airport, which is the lone airport in Mizoram constructed based on the collective efforts made by three top political leaders Laldenga, Zoramthanga and Lal Thanhawla.
The opposition further said that it would intensify its opposition unless the processed files to hand over Lengpui Airport to AIF are withdrawn.