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Strategically important Sikkim airport under dispute over security arrangements

Ministry of Home Affairs has proposed that the CISF handle security at the airport, however, MoCA claims local Sikkim police can secure it.

July 25, 2018 / 11:05 PM IST
Representative Image

Representative Image


Moneycontrol News

Security at Sikkim's Pakyong airport has come under dispute with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Civil Aviation Ministry (MoCA) at loggerheads.

According to a Times of India report, it was decided that the MHA would hand over the security of Pakyong airport to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). However, MoCA believes that the local police force would be more suitable for the job.

Pakyong is located near the controversial Doklam region, situated at a tri-junction between India, China and Bhutan and hence is of strategic importance.

Officials in MHA and security agencies said that the local police is not well-equipped to provide security at Pakyong airport. However, MoCA has claimed that Sikkim police, as part of their "regional connectivity scheme", can secure the airport.

The MHA reasoned that the CISF is a professional aviation security force that secures 59 airports across India. Therefore, they are suited to protect Pakyong from hijacking, enemy aggression, terror threats and other suspicious activities.

The first airport in the hill state is ready for operations and will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Earlier, Bagdogra in West Bengal was the nearest airport for Sikkim, and travellers had to use roads to reach the state.

SpiceJet has already got clearance to fly to Pakyong from Kolkata.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jul 25, 2018 11:05 pm