Taking a dig at the UPA government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the previous government delayed a lot of projects which gained momentum only after the NDA government came to power.
Modi laid the foundation stone of the long overdue airport project at Navi Mumbai on Sunday.
"India's aviation sector is growing tremendously. This makes quality infrastructure in the aviation sector important. Our government brought an aviation policy that is transforming the sector. Aviation will also boost the tourism sector in the country," the Prime Minister said at the inauguration function.
"In our country today around 450 airplanes are currently operational including both government & private. Within last one year order for 900 new airplanes has been placed. Aviation sector also brings more employment opportunities," he added.
He said, in a veiled attack at Congress-led UPA government, that previous governments just did latkana, atkana, bhatkana (Delaying, Stalling and misleading).
"Purani sarkaaro ka swabhav tha latkana,atkana,bhatkana. Karib-karib 10 lakh crore ke projects aise hi latke, atke, bhatke hue the.Unko humne karyanvit kiya,dhan ka prabhand kiya aur aaj tej gati se wo kaam aage chal rahe hain. Usi me se ek Navi Mumbai airport ka kaam hai (Previous governments just did delaying, stalling and misleading. They did it to projects worth Rs lakh crore. We got them rolling, arranged funds and gave impetus. Even Navi Mumbai airport was one of them)," he said.
The first phase of Navi Mumbai Airport is expected to cost around Rs 6,000 crore. Going by the project cost, this would incur equity requirements to the tune of around Rs 1,200 crore.
Planned in 1997 as a secondary airport to meet the growing needs of Mumbai at an investment of Rs 3,000 crore, the project was inordinately delayed due to a myriad of factors, including political indecision, issues of environmental clearances and the funding.
The City Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco), which is developing the new airport along with GVK Group, expects the first flight to take off in 2019. GVK Group will hold 74 per cent stake in the project, the rest being held by the Cidco and the Airports Authority of India.
The parallel runways will measure 4,000 metres, each with two rapid exit taxiways. The new airport will have two entrances and exits. The southern tip of the runway will be built first as it lies at the base of Ulwe Hills, expected to be cut by December.