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Government transforming aviation sector: Narendra Modi

21 February 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday laid the foundation stone for Navi Mumbai International Airport which is being built in a bid to share the burden of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. The prime minister was speaking at Kombudbhuj near Panvel on the outskirts of Mumbai, where he laid the foundation stone for the Navi Mumbai International Airport, expected to witness its first flight operations by December 2019. He said, the government is focusing on the aviation sector with the aim to make air travel affordable for common man.

Addressing the gathering, PM Modi said that globalisation is a reality of our times and to keep pace with it, we need top quality infrastructure.

In the last three and half years, the government has transformed the country from being a fragile five' nation to one now aspiring United States dollars 5 trillion GDP, he said.

In October 2017, the Maharashtra government's Project Monitoring and Implementation Committee had approved conglomerate GVK's bid to construct the airport in Navi Mumbai.

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The GVK Group will have 74 per cent interest in the project with Cidco and the Airports Authority of India holding the remaining 26 per cent stake. "We are working on "port-led" development and not merely ports development, and have identified over 100 waterways in India for transport which will be cost-effective and eco-friendly", he said.

The prime minister also inaugurated the Fourth Container Terminal at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port.

The airport is likely to cost Rs. 16,704 crore and is estimated to attract at least 10 million passengers per annum, once its first phase is operational.

"They are progressing well now and the Navi Mumbai airport is one of them", he continued, "The greenfield airport is the biggest such project in aviation sector in the country".

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Since Independence, only 450 airplanes were in the sky including both from government and private sectors, and now companies have ordered 900 planes in just one year, Mr. Modi said, highlighting the growth that has taken place under his government's watch.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) ally Shiv Sena is upset for not being invited for the ground-breaking ceremony of the Navi Mumbai International Airport.

The project requires over 2,268 hectares of land, of which almost 1,160 hectares will be used for aeronautical purposes.

Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari, Ashok Gajapathi Raju, and Ramdas Athawale, state ministers and other senior officials were present on the occasion.

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Government transforming aviation sector: Narendra Modi