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PM Modi inaugurates UP's 3rd international airport in Kushinagar, to boost tourism on Buddhist circuit

Uttar Pradesh gets its third international airport in Kushinagar. The two others are Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport at Lucknow and Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport at Varanasi.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: October 20, 2021 15:45 IST
PM Narendra Modi inaugurates Kushinagar International
Image Source : ANI

PM Narendra Modi inaugurates Kushinagar International Airport

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated the Kushinagar International Airport, which is an endeavour to connect Buddhist pilgrimage sites around the world. With this, Uttar Pradesh has now three international airports. Apart from the Kushinagar International Airport, the two operational international airports are -- Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport at Lucknow and Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport at Varanasi.

The inauguration of the Kushinagar International Airport was marked by the landing of the inaugural flight at the airport from Colombo, Sri Lanka, carrying a Sri Lankan delegation of over 100 Buddhist monks and dignitaries including the 12-member holy relic entourage bringing the holy Buddha relics for exposition. The delegation comprises anunayakas (deputy heads) of all four nikatas (orders) of Buddhism in Sri Lanka; Asgiriya, Amarapura, Ramanya, Malwatta as well as five ministers of the Lankan government led by Cabinet Minister Namal Rajapakshe. Diplomats from 12 countries (Mongolia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Lao PDR, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Republic of Korea, Nepal, Japan and Singapore) also attended the inauguration ceremony.

Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in the country, is all set to become the only state in the country to have five international airports. After international airports in Lucknow, Varanasi and Kushinagar, the state will soon get two more international airports in Noida and Ayodhya.

The airport has been built at an estimated cost of Rs 260 crore. It will facilitate domestic and international pilgrims to visit the 'mahaparinirvana' site of Lord Buddha and is an endeavour to connect the Buddhist pilgrimage holy sites around the world. Buddhists believe that Gautam Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana after his death in Kushinagar.

After inaugurating the airport, PM Modi said it will boost connectivity and tourism, while also helping develop an entire economic ecosystem in the region and create new job opportunities. He said the government's special attention to the development of places associated with Lord Buddha and developing Kushinagar are among the top priority areas for the Uttar Pradesh and central governments.

Referring to the recent decision to privatise Air India, Modi said the country has taken a big step related to Air India so that its aviation sector should run professionally, and convenience and safety should be given priority. "This step will give new energy to the aviation sector of India," the Prime Minister said and also referred to the reforms related to the opening of defence airspace for civil use.

On the newly launched 'PM Gatishakti- National Master Plan', PM Modi said this will not only improve the governance, but it will also be ensured that whether it is road, rail, or plane, they support each other and increase each other's capacity. On the UDAN scheme, he said more than 900 new routes have been approved in the last few years, out of which air service has started on more than 350. Besides, more than 50 new airports or those which were not in service earlier have been made operational, he added.

The Prime Minister later visited the Mahaparinirvana temple and offered Archana and Chivar to the reclining statue of Lord Buddha.

Why Kushinagar International Airport matters

  1. The Kushinagar Airport is spread across 3600sqm. The new terminal is equipped to handle 300 passengers during peak hours.
  2. The runway is 3,200 metres long and 45 metres wide which makes it perfect for landing big aircraft.
  3. The airport also has an advanced turning pad, additional runway strip, taxiway, isolation subway, advanced runway lighting for smooth landing and take-off.
  4. The development of the airport at Kushinagar will help in developing Kushinagar as one of the four principal places of Buddhist pilgrimage. It will not only put the pilgrimage site on International Aviation Map but also give a boost to the economic development of the region.
  5. The airport will have a multiplier effect on the hospitality industry by promoting hotel business, tourism agencies, restaurants etc. The infrastructure will create employment opportunities for locals.
  6. The airport will serve a population of more than two crores in nearby districts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and is an important step in boosting investment and employment opportunities.
  7. The airport will also boost the opportunities for the export of horticultural products like bananas, strawberries and mushrooms.

Also Read | PM Modi expresses anguish at loss of lives in Uttarakhand rains

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