**Baripada:** Traffic came to a standstill on National Highway (NH) 18 in Baripada town of Mayurbhanj district today owing to a road blockade staged by activists of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) at different places demanding revival of the Amarda air strip at Rasgobindpur.
Built in the 1940s at a cost of Rs 3 crore by the Royal Air Force (RAF) of the British government, the airstrip spreads across an area of nearly 800 acres with an 11,000 feet (3.5 km) runway and a bunker which is still visible.
It was used by RAF and United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) to carry supplies to China during the World War II. However, it was eventually deserted after the war.
While the State Government is emphasising on developing means of transportation in various districts, the airstrip in Mayurbhanj needs attention. It lies neglected as it falls under the jurisdiction of the Central Government alleged the JMM.
Traffic resumed on the NH after four hours following intervention of police to clear the road blockade.
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