Minister Narendra Modi with UP CM Yogi Adityanath and Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia in Jewar.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday laid the foundation stone of the Rs 35,000 crore Noida International Airport which will be the fourth largest in the world and the biggest airport in Asia.
Addressing a massive gathering at the site where construction will now take off in full swing for flights to start in September 2024, the Prime Minister said that the airport would be the “logistics gateway of North India” and generate thousands of direct and indirect jobs.
PM Modi said that the airport was part of the ambitious plans for an India of the 21sth century that will be driven by big infrastructure projects that are delivered by his government within the stipulated deadlines.
He explained that the airport would also provide a big boost to exports as the artisans, small industries and MSMEs in the region such as the sports goods units in Meerut and the brassware units in Moradabad would get a direct air-link to the international market to sell their goods.
Similarly, the farmers of the region would benefit as perishable goods such as fruits and vegetables would get quick access to global markets paving the way for prosperity in the region.
New Industries would also come up in the region due to the better connectivity as the airport would link the defence industrial corridor in UP and multi-modal logistics hub. This would create more employment and all sections of society would gain with the all-round prosperity triggered by the project.
The PM also said that one of the world’s biggest centres for Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) of planes would be set up at the Noida airport. Currently the country is spending Rs 15,000 crore as the airlines have to send their planes for repair and overhauling to foreign countries. This money will be saved and a large number of high-quality jobs for the youths of the country will also be created as a result, he added.
Taking a dig at the rival parties in UP he said that the plan for the Noida International airport had been conceived by the BJP earlier but the political parties that had come to power in the state had scuttled the project. In an oblique reference to the Samajwadi Party, he said that one such party had even written to the Centre that the project should be scrapped.
Taking a swipe at the opposition parties, the Prime Minister said they had neglected UP and not give the state its rightful due. Most of the projects announced by previous governments had remained on paper and did not see the light of day, he added.
"Today, 21st century India is seeing one mega infrastructure project after another. These do not just have a direct impact on the local population… but also transforms the entire region," the Prime Minister pointed out that the Noida airport and those in Kushinagar (inaugurated by him last month) and the proposed Ayodhya airport were all examples of how the double-engine BJP government was delivering the development projects.
"There was a time… till not so long ago… when people wondered if UP would ever progress. But today, UP is seeing unparalleled progress. From expressways to airports and rail projects, all is happening here in UP now. It is not just making an impact in India, but is leaving an impression globally," he added.
The PM also commented on the efficient manner in which the land acquisition process was carried out for the airport, saying: "We used to see many projects where land was taken from farmers, and neither were they compensated properly nor did the projects kick-off. We take all our decisions keeping in mind India's progress, farmers' betterment, project and regional betterment."
The Prime minister said the last-mile connectivity will be handled by a "multimodal transit hub" with metro and high-speed rail, as well as taxi and bus services as he listed plans for major roads and expressways linking the airport.