Friday, 23 October 2015

A Flight of Fancy or a Fancy Flight?

The enormous attempt to build the world's highest passenger airport in Pakyong, Sikkim is well behind schedule. The retaining wall on the substantial earthworks (comprised of gavions which are essentially wire-enclosed cages of stones) has only just gone beyond 37m in height and is scheduled to go to 75m. The activity has displaced people and caused substantial damage to surrounding buildings. Streams, flowing through the building site have been combined into a unified channel but there is evidence on top that the monsoon waters cause wadi-like channels on the surface (these are like the flash-flood generated dry 'river beds' seen in the deserts of Saudi Arabia). All this and there is the problem of very problematic road links from the proposed airport to Gangtok and the rest of Sikkim. I'm not sure whether it will really 'fly'.

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