12 National Highways will serve as emergency landing airstrips. The Indian Air force (IAF) has cleared 12 NHs that will enable rescue operation teams to reach affected areas easily.
The work is expected to start in the next three-four months.
Although there was initially a proposal to develop a total of 21 NHs into airstrips, for now 12 highways have been cleared.
Three of those connecting Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. However, on the remaining NHs, discussions and testing are on and soon they too are likely to be cleared by the IAF.
To start with, the thickness of tar will be increased and highways will be made strong enough for aircraft to land.
The highways will be open for public during normal times, but in case there is an emergency, then normal traffic will be blocked.
The stretch will be then used for aircraft landing. Also, alternate ways will be created for the normal traffic flow during emergencies.
According to the Ministry of Road, Transport, Highways and Shipping (MoRTH), the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has been chosen as the executing agency.
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