The airport, perched between the Himalayan ranges at a height of 4,500 ft, is India’s 100th functional airport. Modi arrived in Gangtok on Sunday evening after rolling out the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) — the largest government health insurance scheme in the world — in Jharkhand.
Dedicating the airport to the nation, PM Modi said the Pakyong airport is not only a tribute to the beauty of Sikkim but also to the engineering marvel. “It’s a century for the country today. I would like to congratulate the planning team and the engineers involved in building the airport. The airport was inaugurated today, but the pictures have been trending on social media for the last few days. The government is trying to boost infrastructure projects and connectivity in Northeast.”
Taking a jibe at the former UPA government, Modi said, “Out of the 100 airports in India today, 35 airports have come up in the past four years. This shows our zeal. Our government is working with the motto of ‘sabka saath sabka vikaas.’ In the north-eastern states, a lot of development has taken place for the first time — from air to rail connectivity, to even electricity.”
The airport whose foundation stone was laid, around 33 km from Gangtok, in 2009 will ensure easier connectivity of the state with the rest of the country.