Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Monday said the state would assist the defence forces if they were is keen to set up an airfield in the forward areas along the international border with China.
"If the defence forces want to set up an airfield near Indo-Tibet border somewhere in the Spiti Valley, we will provide them all logistical assistance," he said.
He said the state, which shares a 200 km border with China, is giving priority in strengthening road and air network along the border.
Noting the the General Reserve Engineering Force (GREF), which comes under the Defence Ministry, is maintaining the border roads, Virbhadra Singh said: "Since we have a hilly terrain it becomes difficult to undertake development in comparison to adjoining China that has vast plateaus."
"In the larger interest of the nation, we stand shoulder to shoulder with the armed forces and other parallel agencies deployed in the state along the international and inter-state borders," he said at a function near here after flagging off the Northern Frontier Mountaineering Expedition of the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) to Mount Leo Pargial, located at an altitude of 22,222 feet.
Lauding the efforts of the ITBP, the Chief Minister said the team under the leadership of Sidharth Kumar had scaled the Mount Everest. The other members of the team were Anoop Kumar Negi, Joth Singh, Pradeep Negi and Devendar Singh.
Earlier, ITBP Inspector General H.S. Goraya spoke about the force's activities and contribution in the states' development.