In a letter to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday, Baghel said that once the facility is established, local youths will have an easy access to job opportunities in defence services, and the military station would also help in elimination of Naxal insurgency from the state, he said.
The chief minister said that around 1,000 acres of land has been allotted by the state government to the MoD for setting up an army cantonment in Bilaspur, but the process to establish it is still pending, the state’s public relations department official said.
“Initially, the requirement of airstrip was raised for setting up the army cantonment. Now the state government has completed the expansion of Chakarbhata airstrip and the DGCA has also upgraded the license of the airport to 3C VFR (Visual Flight Rules) category (allowing the 72-seater flight to land there),” Baghel said in the letter.
The airstrip is fully ready to meet the aviation- related requirements of commercial flights service as well as the military. The commercial flight services will begin at Chakarbhata airport, which has been named as Bilasa Bai Kevtin Airport, from March 1, he said.
The state government is now keenly looking forward to the establishment of the army base in the area, he said.
The cantonment will not only speed up the development in surrounding areas, but also provide easy job opportunities to local youth in defence services, he said.
“The presence of army Cantonment is also expected to be particularly helpful in the direction towards eliminating the Naxalism,” he asserted.
Baghel requested the union minister to fast track the process of establishing the cantonment and assured to consider the other requirements of the MoD and the army in this direction, the official added.