Taking a swipe at previous governments, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said Uttar Pradesh was kept in deprivation and darkness earlier but it is now getting what it always deserved and is making its mark internationally under a "double-engine" BJP rule.
After laying the foundation stone for the Noida International Airport at Jewar in Uttar Pradesh, which would one of the largest aerodromes in Asia, Modi highlighted the development activities in the poll-bound state and said the new airport will help the state become an export-centre whereby even MSMEs will have easier access to overseas markets.
He said the Noida International Airport, slated to be completed by 2024, will become the logistics gateway for North India.
He asserted that infrastructure is "not politics for us but part of national policy".
"We are making sure that the projects do not get stuck, do not keep hanging.. we try to ensure that the infrastructure work is completed within the stipulated time," Modi said.
In an apparent dig at the Opposition, Modi said some political parties in the country have always kept their self-interest paramount.
"The thinking of these people is self-interest, their own development and that of their family," Modi said.
"Whereas, we follow the spirit of Nation First... Sabka Saath - Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas - Sabka Prayas is our mantra," Modi said.
He said that for the first time in seven decades, Uttar Pradesh has started getting what it has always deserved.
"With the efforts of the double engine government, today Uttar Pradesh is turning into the most connected region of the country," Modi said.
Taking a dig at previous governments in UP and at the Centre, he said Uttar Pradesh, which the previous governments kept in deprivation and darkness, to which they showed false dreams, that same state is now making a mark not just nationally but also internationally.
The airport, the second international aerodrome in Delhi-National Capital Region, is expected to be operational by September 2024 with an initial capacity to handle 1.2 crore passengers per annum.
The airport, spread over 1,330 acres of land, will be developed by Zurich Airport International AG.
Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday said it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi's direction that Asia's biggest airport has to be built in Uttar Pradesh, as he joined the foundation-laying ceremony for the Noida International Airport.
Scindia said the airport, located in Jewar in Gautam Buddh Nagar district in western Uttar Pradesh, will bring investments worth Rs 34,000 crore and the first phase of the Greenfield project is expected to be completed in 2024 with a capacity of 1.2 crore passengers annually.
"By the last phase of development, the Noida International Airport will even surpass Delhi's Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport and become India's leading airport," Scindia told the gathering.
He said earlier, there were only four airports in Uttar Pradesh but now, there are nine airports and this (Jewar) will be the 10th airport in the state, as he hit out at the previous non-BJP governments.
"It was Prime Minister Narendra Modi's direction that Asia's biggest airport has to be built in Uttar Pradesh," Scindia said.
"Where there is a will, there is a way.... It was an ambitious resolution of the prime minister, which has come true today," he added.
The first phase of the aerodrome is being done at a cost of more than Rs 10,050 crore, and the ground work regarding land acquisition and rehabilitation of the affected families has been completed, an official release said on Tuesday.
The airport at Jewar will help decongest the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport in the national capital. It is strategically located and will serve the people of cities including Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Aligarh, Agra, Faridabad and neighbouring areas, the release said.
The airport will also be the country's "first net zero emissions airport".
According to the Union government, the airport will be the logistics gateway of northern India, and with its scale and capacity, the aerodrome will be a "gamechanger" for Uttar Pradesh.
For the first time, an airport has been conceptualised with an integrated multi-modal cargo hub, with a focus on reducing the total cost and time for logistics. The dedicated cargo terminal will have a capacity of 20 lakh metric tonnes, which will be expanded to 80 lakh metric tonnes.
The airport will also develop a Ground Transportation Centre that will feature a multi-modal transit hub, housing metro and high-speed rail stations, taxi, bus services and private parking.
Among other aspects, the airport will be linked to the planned Delhi-Varanasi high speed rail, enabling the journey between Delhi and airport in only 21 minutes, the release said.
There will also be a state-of-art MRO (maintenance, repair and overhauling) service. The airport will introduce a swing aircraft stand concept, providing flexibility for airlines to operate an aircraft for both domestic and international flights from the same contact stand, without having to re-position the aircraft.
In poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, various development projects have been inaugurated in recent months. On October 20, Modi inaugurated the Kushinagar international airport.
Currently, there are nine operational airports in Uttar Pradesh, including three international aerodromes at Lucknow, Varanasi and Kushinagar. Eight more airports, including the one at Jewar, will be coming up in three years.
The six other operational airports in the state are at Agra, Gorakhpur, Kanpur, Prayagraj, Hindon and Bareilly.
On Wednesday, Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Bansal said five aerodromes are expected to be ready at Aligarh, Chitrakoot, Azamgarh, Mordabad and Shravasti in 2022.
In 2023, two more are expected to come up at Ayodhya and Muirpur.
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