Gandhinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday laid the foundation stone of a new air base in Gujarat's Deesa which, after its completion, will reduce the long-pending strategic gap of 355 km between the Bhuj and Uttarlai air bases.

According to the Indian Air Force officials, the land was acquired for the IAF in 1983. The campus presently has a minimal infrastructure in terms of just 20 watch towers and a 22 Km boundary wall.

The development of the station was guided by Lt Gen Harpal Singh the Engineer-in-Chief, which will take place in two stages at an approximate cost of Rs 980 crore, according to the officials.

"In Phase 1, the main runway, parallel taxi track, loop taxi track and fighter sqn dispersal area are coming up. in addition roads and drainage infrastructure will also be made. In phase 2 balance technical infrastructure and domestic accommodation are planned," the officials said.

"Thus the well-guided project meticulously designed by the MES, with expert guidance from BISAG, IIT Roorkee and CRRI Delhi is most certain to Come up as a model base using modern techniques and the latest software like HEC-RAS and HEC GEORAS for planning the project," they added.

Talking about the technology being used in the construction of the base, the officials said that special technology has helped to effectively and correctly map even the maximal floods that can occur once in twenty years and even inundations or water ingress and the entire station has been given a chain of cross-crossing canals and drains in a manner in which run-off water is well handled.

"The two large canals which are designed innovatively, are going to be paved with lining pavers rather than working manually to pave the slopes of the canal, and the feeder drains are going to be dug mechanically and also lined mechanically, the main pavement or runway area has been given innovative soil stabilisation, to effectively address the soil conditions of South Rajasthan and North Gujarat, in consultation with IIT Roorkee," they said, adding that the roads have been given cementitious, subbase and base, which has helped to reduce the thickness of the upper layers and yet find longer durability.

"In consultation with CRRI, the buildings and supporting structures have been designed in an eco-friendly manner, which leads to the least carbon footprint," they added.

The Engineer in Chief Lt Gen Harpal Singh has opined that the whole Air station has been worked out in a manner such that it will all finish by 2023 December.