Chhattisgarh's green signal to IAF base

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Raipur, Jun 6 (UNI) Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has agreed, in principle, to a proposal for setting up an Indian Air Force (IAF) base in the state.

Dr Singh's concurrence came last night during a presentation by senior IAF officers.

He suggested that the officers should tour various places along with the Director (Aviation) for selecting the site for the base.

The officers said 2,000-2,500 acres would be required for establishing the IAF base.

''After the land is selected, it will be made available at the earliest,'' the Chief Minister assured.

During the presentation, Air Commodore A K Malhotra informed Dr Singh that Chhattisgarh was ideal for a base, as the state's central location would result in easy access to any part of the country for providing disaster relief. Other factors included low altitude, good weather all year round and less air traffic.

''As Chhattisgarh is a naxalism-affected state, helicopters are required from time to time. If an airbase is established, choppers will be readily available for purposes including better monitoring of insurgency-affected areas,'' said the officer.

UNI AS-AC ATI AS1813

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