The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the New Integrated Terminal Building of Veer Savarkar International Airport, Port Blair via video conferencing today. With a construction cost of around Rs 710 crores, the new terminal building is capable of handling about 50 lakh passengers annually.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that even though today’s program is taking place in Port Blair, the entire nation is keenly looking towards the Union Territory as the demand for increasing the passenger handling capacity of Veer Savarkar International Airport is being fulfilled. The Prime Minister also expressed his desire to be present on the occasion as he could experience the joyous environment and happy faces of the citizens. “Those who wished to visit Andaman also demanded a larger capacity airport”, he added.
Further speaking on the growing desire for expansion of the airport facilities at Port Blair, the Prime Minister informed that till now the existing terminal had the capacity to handle 4000 tourists, and the new terminal has taken this number to 11,000 and 10 planes can be parked at any given time on the airport now. More flights and tourists will bring more jobs to the area, he said. Port Blair’s new terminal building will increase Ease of Travel, Ease of Doing Business and connectivity, the Prime Minister added.
“The scope of development has been limited to big cities for a long time in India”, the Prime Minister said, as he highlighted that the Adivasi and island regions of the country were devoid of development for a long time. He said that in the last 9 years, the present government has not only rectified the mistakes of the governments of the past with utmost sensitivity but also come up with a new system. “A new model of development of inclusion has come up in India. The model is of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’”, 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 said that in the last 9 years, a new story of development has been written in Andaman. 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, a budget of about Rs 48,000 crores was allocated for Andaman and Nicobar. Similarly, during the 9 years of the previous government 28,000 households were connected with piped water, this number in the last 9 years is 50,000. Today, the Prime Minister continued, 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 fiber of hundreds of kilometres.