Development not on agenda in UP for last 20 years: Ajit Singh

Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said air traffic from Uttar Pradesh was very low as compared to its population, but the state government has shown no interest in setting up new airports.

Lucknow: Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh on Friday said air traffic from Uttar Pradesh was very low as compared to its population, but the state government has shown no interest in setting up new airports.

The Union minister also said for the last 15-20 years, development was not on the agenda of successive Uttar Pradesh governments.

"Chief ministers, ministers and MPs from all the states come requesting to give new flights and airports, but there is no deliberation from UP`s side in this regard," Singh told reporters here.

The number of passengers from the state was only 1.8 per cent despite having 18 per cent population, the minister said.

"In other states airports have been constructed at small places.In UP there are only two airports of airport authority, rest five-six airports belong to defence services," Singh said.

The minister said that since March, Airport Authority of India, aviation ministry and even he himself has written several letters to the state government.

"There are three airstrips Faizabad, Moradabad and Meerut. We requested that give these airstrips to us and we will construct airports. Besides at places where there are airports of defence services, we requested the state to provide land and we will construct a separate terminal," he said.

The minister claimed that till date the state government has not replied to even a single letter.
Project of international airport was also sanctioned for Kushinagar in 2010, but there was no progress, he said.

"The then CM Mayawati proposed a new international airport at Noida, but this government wrote to us that they do not want it. Then we requested the government to construct a new airport near Agra expressway," he said.

The RLD chief alleged that not only the existing government, but he was of the opinion that in UP, development was not on the mind from the last 15-20 years.

"They have stopped at caste, cash and criminal," he alleged.

"I have come to know through media that they were willing to construct the airport and some proposal has been passed by the Vidhan Sabha, but the government has not given any application to the aviation ministry till date," Singh, who also hails from the state, said

He said that at places in the country, the state government provided land and airport was constructed by the Centre.

"I have come to know that civil aviation officials of UP say that why they provide land free of cost.

This is done is partnership, as all the small airports run into losses," Singh said.

"Let alone the reply, the government has only acknowledged two-three letters," he added.

Singh said that the ministry would launch helicopter service between Varanasi to Sarnath.

In addition to this, flight service between Delhi-Agra-Varanasi-Khajuraho would be launched from December 26.

Regarding setting up of a bench of the High Court in Western UP, Ajit said that it was an old demand and it should be done.

"I have talked to law ministers and all of them agree. To ensure that people get easy and cheap justice a bench has to be set up in west UP," he said.