For Authentic Gossip
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Why Continuity In Govt Matters In Security: How Nirmala Sitharaman As Raskha Mantri Revived 20-Year Old Deesa Air Base

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week laid the foundation stone for a new air base at Deesa in Banaskantha district, Gujarat near the India-Pakistan border, it brought to light the importance of continuity in decision-making in the government. Deesa is a greenfield air base spread over 4,519 acres and as Modi himself put it “the international border is just 130 km away. If our forces, especially the Air Force, are in Deesa, we will be able to respond to any challenge on the western border”.  According to Indian Air Force (IAF) officials the land for the base was acquired back in 1983. The approval to construct a full-fledged air base was given by the Centre in 2020. Although the land for Deesa air base was allotted an in-principle approval given was to the IAF by the Vajpayee government way back in 2000, the project was put on a back burner by the UPA government for the next 14 years. It was kick-started only after the 2017 massive floods in Banaskantha. That is when PM Modi and then Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asked IAF to provide flood relief. The Air Headquarters then headed by Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa found it difficult to provide relief as there was no airfield nearby. Nevertheless Deesa was still lying-in files. It was then that Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stepped in and got all approval done along with Rs 1,000 crore funding.