Aviation cannot be about rich people, Say Prime Minister Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses public meeting in Chotila, lays foundation stone for greenfield airport for Rajkot

The PM Narendra Modi at Foundation Stones laying ceremony of the Greenfield Airport for Rajkot and other road development projects, at Chotila, Gujarat on October 7, 2017. The Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Vijay Rupani and other dignitaries are also seen. PIB

AHMEDABAD: The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi while addressing a public meeting at a town – Chotila, in Surendranagar district of Gujarat said that aviation cannot be about rich people. He said, “We have made aviation affordable and within reach of the lesser privileged.”

He laid the foundation stones for a greenfield airport for Rajkot, the third-most advanced district in state. PM also laid the foundation stones of road construction works of six-laning of Ahmedabad-Rajkot National Highway; and four-laning of Rajkot-Morbi State Highway.

The PM said that it was hard to imagine an airport in Surendranagar district. He said such development works empower citizens.

Ahmedabad and Rajkot, two main industrial and commercial centres of Gujarat and Saurashtra, are at equal distance from Surendranagar.

Modi said that the definition of development has changed. From the days when handpumps were seen to be a sign of development, today the waters of the Narmada River have been brought for the benefit of citizens.

He said Surendranagar district tends to benefit a lot from the waters of the Narmada. He urged people to use water responsibly, and conserve every drop.

He also dedicated to the nation, a fully automatic milk processing and packaging plant; and a drinking water distribution pipeline for Joravarnagar and Ratanpur area of Surendranagar.

The Prime Minister said that the Sursagar Dairy would bring enormous benefit to the people.

He also recalled how former Chief Minister of Gujarat – Keshubhai Patel had worked towards making better and safer roads.

Rajkot district is surrounded by Morbi district in north, Surendranagar and Botad districts in east, Amreli and Junagadh districts in south and Porbandar Jamnagar district in west.

It is worth mention that Gujarat is home state of Narendra Modi, where he served as a longest-serving chief minister representing Bharatiya Janata Party, served for twelve and a half years from 2001 to 2014.

As per the recent Times of India report, including operational and non-operational, Airports Authority of India (manages 125 airports across) owned and Gujarat Govt. owned, there are 27 airports, which includes airstrips owned by defence and private parties. Gujarat tops the list of states with the most number of operational airports.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha in a written reply in Rajya Sabha on March 21, 2017, informed the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has granted ‘in principle’ approval for setting up of 18 Greenfield Airports and ‘site clearance’ approval for setting up of 7 Greenfield Airports across the country.

Out of these, Mopa Airport in Goa, Navi Mumbai and Shirdi Airport in Maharashtra, Kannur Airport in Kerala, Kushinagar Airport and Jewar Airport in Uttar Pradesh, Dholera Airport in Gujarat, Bhogapuram Airport in Andhra Pradesh, Machiwara Airport in Ludhiana, Alwar Airport in Rajasthan and Rajkot Airport in Gujarat are International Greenfield Airports. The airport project at Kannur has been completed. With total estimated cost for setting up of above mentioned 18 Greenfield Airports in the country comes out to approx. Rs. 30,000 crore.

It is forecasted that India will become the 3rd largest aviation market by 2020. India has National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) 2016 to meet the passenger demands by developing new, and revamping existing infrastructure.

India’s civil aviation sector grew 23.29% in terms of passenger traffic during January-April 2016.