Kolkata: President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday inaugurated a brand new integrated terminal in the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport here which has a capacity to handle 20 million passengers annually as compared to the present 7.46 million.
The state-of-the-art world class facility has been built by ITD Cementation India Limited in a joint venture with its parent Italian-Thai Development Public Co Ltd, Thailand.
While underlining the economic importance of the terminal, Mukherjee praised the public sector units, including the Airport Authority of India, for doing an "exceedingly well-done" job.
"I congratulate the Civil Aviation Ministry and Airport Authority of India for constructing this beautiful and state of art airport terminal," he said.
He said that when the central government decided to undertake the responsibility of modernising the airport, there was a view that the substantial investment which had to be made should come from the private sector so that there was no pressure on the exchequer.
"But they have done exceedingly well. I congratulate them," Mukherjee said.
"There is no inherent contradiction between the public and the private sector. Both of them invest in national resources, but the question is that how efficiently and professional it can be managed and administered and services provided to the customer," he said.
He underscored the importance of the new terminal and said Calcutta was an important part of India`s look east economic policy.
"Calcutta is not only the gateway to the east. But it also plays the most important role in the look-east policy of the government of India," said Mukherjee.