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Noida airport will become logistics centre of northern India, says PM

Noida airport will become logistics centre of northern India, says PM
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Noida/Jewar: Breaking ground on the Noida International Airport site, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday took the opportunity to take a swipe at previous governments — ahead of the 2022 UP polls — saying that they had kept Uttar Pradesh in deprivation and darkness for seven decades but that the state 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, for which tens of thousands had arrived, Modi said the new airport will help the state become an export-centre whereby even MSMEs will have easier access to overseas markets.

Many among those who had come to visit were holding the national flag and BJP flag, playing loud music and sloganeering in support of the BJP. The road leading to the venue witnessed a traffic jam as people in buses, tractors, bikes and private vehicles came for the event.

BJP flags fluttered in front of many tractors and many people found a place on top of buses sporting caps and holding flags.

Significantly, the Prime Minister highlighted that the new airport will have a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility spread over 40 acres and the facility will provide employment to hundreds of people even as Union Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia announced that the entire airport project will create around 1 lakh jobs over the years.

Currently, around Rs 15,000 crore is spent for carrying out MRO activities — 85 per cent of which is conducted overseas, the PM said, adding that the new facility will save this money.

According to the UP government, the airport will be the fourth largest international airport in the world.

Spread over 1,330 acres of land, it will be developed by Zurich Airport International AG.

The airport will become the logistics gateway for North India, Modi said and sought to stress that the government is focused on development activities, saying "infrastructure is not part of 'rajniti' (politics) for us but part of rashtra niti (national policy)".

With the upcoming infrastructure, Khurja artisans, Meerut sports industry, Saharanpur furniture, Moradabad's brass industry and Agra's footwear and petha industry will get huge support, Modi said.

The integrated multi-modal cargo hub being built alongside the airport will serve industrial centres like Aligarh, Mathura, Meerut, Agra, Bijnor, Moradabad and Bareilly.

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... whereas, we follow the spirit of Nation First... Sabka Saath — Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas — Sabka Prayas is our mantra," Modi said.

The Prime Minister also said that the BJP government of the time, had two decades ago, conceptualised the project but it was entangled in the tussle between governments in Delhi and Lucknow at the time.

The airport will provide employment to thousands of people in western Uttar Pradesh, the Prime Minister noted, also claiming that farmers who gave up their land for the project are now being compensated without having to wait.

UP CM Yogi Adityanath also thanked the around 7,000 farmers who gave up land for this project.

However, with many of these farmers protesting for full compensation for their properties, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra asked the Prime Minister why these farmers had not been compensated in full for what they gave up.

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