14 years to rebuild??! And you're justifying it?
We don't have fighter jets anyway.
The base there wasn't a priority until a few years ago. INS Baaz could handle everything else from Greater Nicobar. In fact, they were planning to hand over the entire A&N sector to the IN.
Now that the Chinese are pushing into "India's Ocean" with carriers and stuff, the IAF is reacting to that.
Also, the IAF is pressuring the IN to not bother with aircraft carriers since land bases are apparently "more than enough". They want the IN to cancel their MRCBF tender. So this base serves the dual purpose of allowing the IAF to react to Chinese forays through the Malacca Strait and also making our country weaker at the same time because some people have bigger egos than brains.