Sikkim’s first Airport by the end of 2014

Airport in Sikkim? Yes, by the end of 2014, flying to the hilly Himalayan State will be a reality.

The Rs 310 crore project “Greenfield Airport” is being developed by Punj Lloyd at Pakyong, about 28 km south of Gangtok and spread over 197.72 hectares. The project has been “quite challenging” as it requires construction of slopes in a hilly terrain. The difficult topography and hostile weather also restrict work to only 125 days in a year, a senior Airports Authority of India official told Business Standard.

The upcoming Sikkim airport is located at an altitude of 4,700 ft and flanked by deep valleys on both ends of the runway, the airport would rank one among the five highest airports in India, according to Punj Lloyd.

About 10 lakh tourists are expected to visit Sikkim this year. The inflow of tourists had come down to about 5.5 lakh in 2012 after the 2011 Sikkim earthquake, from about seven lakh average earlier.

The 5th Sikkim International Flower Show is scheduled to be held between February 23-27 during which conferences, buyer-seller meet, exhibitions and competitions and workshops will be held. Flower-growers from Australia, New Zealand, Holland, the US, Taiwan, Nepal and Thailand have confirmed their participation too.

The five-day long show will host 15,000 different varieties of flowers.

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