Delhi Not To Activate Chushul Airstrip In Ladakh24 July 2011
Srinagar: India has shelved plans to reactivate the Chushul airfield in Ladakh close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC), apprehending Chinese objections. “The Indian Air Force, however, is going to revive several other Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) in a phased manner as part of its efforts to beef up capabilities along the boundary with China,” IAF sources said. They said, “In China's version of the border and our version of the border, there is a clash on Chushul. The government did not want us make any move there. So, we are not working on such controversial projects”. Located close to the LAC with China at a height of over 13,000 feet, the Chushul Valley in Ladakh has an airstrip, which was a key platform during the Sino-Indian War in 1962 but has not been in use since then. Sources said it was part of IAF's original plans to develop ALGs along the India-China border as part of its efforts to strengthen the defence in these areas and support Army operations in the rugged terrain. They said IAF has already developed a number of ALGs in the northeast and the Ladakh sector, including Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO), Fuk Che and Nyoma for aircraft operations. “A number of new ALGs would be opened by the IAF in the coming years in these areas and many of them would be upgraded for heavier aircraft operations. Such ALGs will help support our forward area policy. With helipads, say we can support only 200 troops there but with a runway, we can land supplies for over a thousand troops there,' a source said.