Prime Minister's Office01-September, 2010 17:39 IST
PM Lays Foundation Stone for New Integrated Terminal at Tirupati Airport
The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone for the new Integrated Terminal at Tirupati Airport today. Following is the text of the PM’s speech on the occasion:

“It gives me great pleasure to be here in this temple town of Tirupati to lay the foundation stone for the new integrated terminal complex for Tirupati Airport. Tirupati is one of the major pilgrim centers in our country and attracts people as pilgrims from all over the world. Therefore, it is only appropriate that we are modernizing and upgrading facilities at the existing airport to provide for international operations.

This morning I laid the foundation of the manufacturing plant being set up by NTPC – BHEL Power Projects Limited. While speaking on the occasion, I paid tribute to Dr. Y. Rajashekhara Reddy, and his vision. Let me once again remember a great leader from Andhra Pradesh, and his love and concern for his people. Tomorrow will be his first death anniversary. He would have indeed been very happy to see the beginning of this project for modernization and upgradation of the Tirupati Airport.

The civil aviation sector is a key contributor to the Indian economy. It enables other sectors to operate more efficiently. Many sectors of the economy which will drive our growth in the future depend critically on air transport for competing effectively in the global economy. By expanding the size of the market that can be accessed, aviation enlarges the scope to exploit economies of scale and enhances competition. It supports tourism in a big way and generates employment, both directly and indirectly.

With our fast economic development, air traffic in India has witnessed unprecedented growth in the recent past. During the last 7 years, domestic air traffic has tripled and international traffic more than doubled. Our government has continuously been making efforts to meet the growing demand for air services in the country. This new integrated terminal complex is a part of our efforts to continuously modernize and develop infrastructure facilities at airports all over the country, keeping in view the existing and potential traffic in a particular region. The government has taken the route of Public Private Partnerships to restructure and modernize the Airports at Delhi and Mumbai. The recently inaugurated terminal at the Delhi Airport is truly a world class facility which the nation can be proud of. In addition, two new Greenfield Airports at Hyderabad and Bangalore have been developed and become operational through the Joint Venture route. The new international airport at Shamshabad near Hyderabad with a current capacity of 12 Million passengers per annum was commissioned in March 2008.

I am happy that the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the government of Andhra Pradesh have been working together on this project. The entire investment for the project is being met through the budgetary resources of the Government of India and it is estimated that in Phase I, an amount of Rs. 174 crore will be incurred. I am also told that the state government has already handed over 293 acres of land out of the 718 acres committed for modernization and development of the Tirupati airport.

Once this new integrated terminal is operational, the Tirupati airport will have the capacity to handle 500 domestic and 200 international passengers during peak hours. The new Terminal Building will be equipped to provide modern state of the art amenities to passengers. After international operations commence at Tirupati airport, pilgrims from neighbouring countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Srilanka would find it easier to come to Tirupati in large numbers, contributing to its development into a major religious-cum-tourist hub. I would urge the Government of Andhra Pradesh, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Tourism to work closely together to make this happen.

I convey my best wishes to the people of Andhra Pradesh and Tirupati. I look forward to this facility coming up in a time-bound manner.”

* * * * *


HS/VK
(Release ID :65493)