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PM throws open Rs 710 crore swank terminal at Port Blair airport, capacity to handle tourists more than doubled

PM inaugurates New Integrated Terminal Building of Veer Savarkar International Airport, Port Blair.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the New Integrated Terminal Building of Veer Savarkar International Airport at Port Blair, built at a cost of Rs 710 crore, via video conferencing today.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that the Port Blair airport had the capacity to handle only 4000 tourists, but the new terminal has more than doubled this number to 11,000 and 10 planes can be parked at any given time at the airport now. More flights and tourists will bring more jobs to the area. Port Blair’s new terminal building will increase Ease of Travel, Ease of Doing Business and connectivity, he explained.

The new terminal building is capable of handling about 50 lakh passengers annually and will give a big boost to tourism in the region.

PM Modi highlighted the fact that earlier governments had limited the scope of development in the country to big cities and the Adivasi and island regions in India were devoid of development for a long time. However, in the last 9 years, the present government has not only rectified the mistakes of the governments of the past but also come up with a new model of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” for the inclusive development of India, the Prime Minister said.

He explained that this model of development is very comprehensive and includes the development of every region and every section of society, and every aspect of life such as education, health and connectivity.

The Prime Minister pointed out that in the 9 years of the previous government Andaman and Nicobar received a budget of Rs 23,000 crores, whereas in the last nine years of the present government, this budget had been more than doubled to Rs 48,000 crores.

Similarly, during the 9 years of the previous government 28,000 households were connected with piped water, while the corresponding figure for new water connections in the last 9 years had shot up to 50,000.

“Today everyone in Andaman and Nicobar has a bank account and the facility of One Nation One Ration Card. The current government is also responsible for the medical college in Port Blair whereas, earlier, there was no medical college in the Union territory. Earlier, the Internet was solely dependent on satellites, now, he said, the present government took the initiative of laying the undersea optical fibre of hundreds of kilometres,” PM Modi explained.

The Prime Minister said that this expansion of facilities is giving momentum to tourism here. Mobile connectivity, health infrastructure, airport facilities and roads promote the arrival of tourists. That is why, the tourist footfall has doubled as compared to 2014. Adventure tourism is also thriving and the numbers will rise manifold in the coming years, he added.

“Andaman is becoming a living and breathing example of the maha-mantra of development and heritage going hand in hand”, the Prime Minister remarked.

The Prime Minister noted that even though the Tiranga was hoisted in Andaman way before it was hoisted in the Red Fort, one could only find signs of slavery on the island. He expressed gratitude for getting the opportunity to hoist the national flag at the exact same spot where Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose once hoisted the Tiranga.

The Prime Minister also highlighted that it was the present government that renamed Ross Island as Netaji Subhas Island, Havelock Island as Swaraj Island and Neil Island as Shaheed Island. He also touched upon renaming the 21 islands after the Param Vir Chakra awardees. “Development of Andaman and Nicobar Islands has become a source of inspiration for the youth of the country”, he added.

The Prime Minister highlighted the opportunistic and dynastic politics of certain parties and criticised the politics of casteism and corruption. He pointed out that such forces are focused on selfish family gains rather than on the development of common citizens. He underlined the strength of the youth of India in the fields of defence and startups and lamented how no justice was done to strengthen the youth in the past.

The Prime Minister emphasized the need to dedicate ourselves to the development of the country. The Prime Minister said that there are many examples of islands and small coastal countries that have made unprecedented progress in the world today. He expressed confidence that the development work being done in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands will further strengthen the entire region.