Twelve national highways of the country including the national highway from Mohanbari (Dibrugarh) to Tinsukia will double as a landing ground for fighter aircrafts. The 12 national highways cleared to be developed into airstrips include Bijbehara-Chinar Bagh highway in Jammu and Kashmir, Rampur-Kathgodam highway in Uttarakhand, Kharagpur-Keonjhar highway in West Bengal and Mohanbari-Tinsukia highway in Assam.The 12 highways would enable landing of military planes in emergency situations.
On September 9, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Road, Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari landed on the national highway in Rajasthan’s Barmer district aboard the C-130 J Super Hercules aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF). The two ministers, accompanied by other officials took part in the mock emergency landing as part of the inauguration of a 3.5-km strip on the national highway in Barmer.
During the inauguration, the IAF also undertook touchdowns by Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft. While emergency landings have taken place on other expressways, this was the first time a national highway was used for such landings.