Jaisalmer: The committee formed by environment, forest and climate change ministry — three years after the forest department objected to the proposed emergency landing strip near Sheo area of Barmer on Jaisalmer-Barmer NH-68 — has ordered to give Rs 26,00,560 to forest department to plant new plants in place of removing 1,419 trees at the scheduled place, after which the matter was resolved. Now emergency landing facility can be made here.

The move comes under the plan to give way to emergency landing facility at the national highways in border areas of the country looking to the future needs of Indian Air Force and NDRF, to strengthen the security arrangements looking to the present situation in the country, and to run the rescue operations in conditions of any natural/manmade calamities.

According to NHAI official sources, Neembla and Aagoria area on NH-68 were found suitable for emergency landing of fighter planes and for NDRF at the time of disaster, for which NHAI identified land from 109.740km to 113.445km on this highway. The forest department objected to it as there were trees on the land reserved by the forest department due to which the matter of making the air strip was lying pending for the last three years. The matter was pending with Union environment and forest ministry.

In this regard, the forest ministry had asked a report from the deputy conservator of forest of Barmer, which was put before the committee made by the ministry of environment, forest and climate change. The committee’s regional empowered committee in its 45th meeting raised this issue.

Sources said that the emergency landing facility will be developed for fighter jets on NH-68 connecting Barmer-Jaisalmer near the international border with Pakistan. The Union ministry of environment and forest and climate change has issued a forest clearance for the project, which has been pending for almost three years.

Sources said that the meeting of the empowered committed was held under the chairmanship of additional DG at Lucknow in which approval was given to remove 1,419 trees on the 13.2 hectare area of the forest department between 109.740km milestone and 113.445km milestone and NHAI was ordered to give Rs 26,00,560 to the forest department as compensation. The highway will be widened near Agoria and Nimbala villages in Barmer district for landing facility.