The Manipur government has decided to preserve part of the historic oil airfield at Koirengei in Imphal it into a war tourism site.
According to reports, the state government had initiated a number of measures to acquire the Koirengei airfield from the ministry of defence.
“Chaired a review meeting on transfer of land under old airfield at Koirengei, Imphal East, presently occupied by central security forces to the State Government,” Chief Minister of Manipur, N. Biren Singh, had tweeted.
“The plan is to relocate the units of the 57 Mountain Division of the Indian Army that are there to another suitable site. After taking over, we are hoping to preserve part of the historic airfield and develop into a War tourist site. We’re also considering the option of setting up shopping malls and government quarters around the site,” Chief Minister told The Print.
Koirengei Airfield was later constructed during 1942-43 with the help of American Engineers. The other two main all weathers airfields constructed in Manipur during World War II were the Tulihal and Pallel airfields. Three other fair weathers airfields were also made during this period at Thoubal, Sapam and Kangla Siphai. All these airfields did play a big role in saving Manipur from the clutches of the invading Japanese Army.
The runway for Koirengei airfield is 4900 ft. long and 138 ft. wide. The total area acquired for airfield from the Government of Manipur was 74.24 acres. Out of this, 56.36 acres was taken over from the State Government and the remaining 17.82 acres were acquired from 16 private land owners. Compensation amounts for the land was paid to the State Government and the individual owners by the then Army Department of India.