Over 100 small airports to come up: PM

Jaipur, Sep 21 (IANS) More than 100 small airports will be developed across the country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Saturday while laying the foundation stone of the Kishangarh airport in Rajasthan.

The new airport in Ajmer district, around 120 km from Jaipur, is slated to be operational in three years. Its estimated cost will be around Rs.1.6 billion.

"Airports were considered to be a facility for the rich. However, air connectivity has now become necessary to ensure a country's development. The lack of air connectivity may prove to be a hindrance," Manmohan Singh said.

Improving air connectivity was among the government's priorities, he said.

"Initially, big cities were connected by air. Now the focus is on connecting smaller cities."

"We have launched an ambitious project to develop small airports in small towns and cities.

"As per our plans, we will develop over 100 small airports in various parts of the country. Kishangarh airport is the first project under this plan," the prime minister said.

About 16 crore people in India travelled by air last year.

"In the last 10 years, there has been a big jump in people travelling by flights. The number of passengers is expected to go up to 30 crore by the end of 2020.

"Huge investment from the government as well as from the private sector in the aviation sector is necessary to cater to this growing demand," he said.

The Kishangarh airport will prove to be convenient for tourists coming to Ajmer from all over the world, he said.

"The world-famous shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisty and the temple town of Pushkar are major attractions for people from across the world. Besides tourism, the airport will also help in development of industries in the area," Manmohan Singh said.

The prime minister said the shrine of the Sufi saint gives the message of peace when some regions were witnessing communal violence.

"I am addressing you from the place where the world famous shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisty gives out the message of peace and harmony. People from all religions visit the holy shrine. This message of peace and harmony becomes important when some areas in the country are witnessing communal tension," Manmohan Singh said.

He said nobody benefits from communal hatred.

"This country sets an example for the world about peace among various religions and communities. We should always keep this in mind," he said.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh also said the Kishangarh airport will lead to the area's development.

Rajasthan Governor Margaret Alva, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot were also present.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Bowling worries for Super Kings

Bowling worries for Super Kings

After failing to defend a mammoth 205 against Kings XI Punjab, Chennai have a lot to think about. More »

Punjab pull off another big chase

Punjab pull off another big chase

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Maxwell, Miller, Pujara chase down Rajasthan's 192. More »

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

The class act from Saurashtra may have to rethink his approach to the mannerless format. More »

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

The BCCI is likely to convene a special general body meeting (SGM) in May to replace N Srinivasan on the board's disciplinary committee. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Roach escapes injury after car crash

Roach escapes injury after car crash

The West Indies fast bowler lost control of his BMW sedan due to slippery road conditions in his native Barbados on Saturday. More »

[INTERVIEW] Lankan veterans grateful for 'unwavering' fans

[INTERVIEW] Lankan veterans grateful for 'unwavering' fans

Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara go over their World T20 win, and feel grateful to have fans whose support remains unwavering in victory and de… More »

[T20 Newsline] Need to improve fielding: Ashwin

[T20 Newsline] Need to improve fielding: Ashwin

Lacklustre Super Kings, fast-improving Sanju Samson and other news from IPL-7. More »

Repose faith in Indian coaches

Repose faith in Indian coaches

All of them cost plenty of dollars which I feel is unnecessary for a two- month tournament, says former cricketer Yajurvindra Singh. More »

Cook relieved after period in limbo

Cook relieved after period in limbo

The England captain is looking forward to a fresh start after a dispiriting Ashes defeat last year. More »

Chaos threatens to engulf SL again

Chaos threatens to engulf SL again

As Lanka's head coach decides to jump ship, euphoria over winning an ICC tournament has dissipated into fuistration. More »

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct

Jayasuriya unhappy at Farbrace conduct

Sri Lanka's chief selector is upset at news of head coach Paul Farbrace's possible move to England. More »

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

The former CBI Director is one of three candidates proposed by the BCCI to head the enquiry into the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal. More »

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

The Nawab of Najafgarh says a good run in IPL could help his chances of a comeback on India's tour to England in June. More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

Five things England must do to bounce back

Five things England must do to bounce back

England have appointed a new head coach in Peter Moores. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusiast.” More »

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

Moores gets second stint as coach

Moores gets second stint as coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »