MUMBAI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday laid the foundation stone of a new international airport in Navi Mumbai which is likely to relieve the burden on the Mumbai airport. Giving a green signal to the project, Modi said that the issue had been pending for years when he assumed office.
"This is not the only project that is pending. When I assumed office I realised there were several such projects. That is why we began a Pragati initiative and gave priority to completion of projects," he said.
He hailed the fact that there has been a tremendous growth in India's aviation sector. "There is a sharp increase in the number of people flying. This makes quality infrastructure in the aviation sector of prime importance," he said.
Taking credit for the growth in aviation, he said his government "had the honour of bringing an aviation policy that is transforming the sector".
Stressing on the need of building a better infrastructure, he said: "Globalisation is a reality of our times and to keep pace with globalisation, we need top quality infrastructure," he said. He also added that the Central government is devoting significant efforts towards the development of waterways.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) ally Shiv Sena is upset for not being invited for the ground-breaking ceremony of the Navi Mumbai International Airport. Sena legislators claimed that the BJP-led Maharashtra government deliberately did not invite local MP and MLA of the Sena for the event.
"It is a state-organised event, taking place at the hands of PM Modi. The airport is located in Raigad district, in my constituency. Our MP, Shrirang Barne, represents the same area in the Lok Sabha, and still we both were not invited which is a violation of protocol," local Sena MLA Manoj Bhoir alleged.
A Shiv Sena spokesperson had said that none of its ministers or legislators were attending the ceremony. Local Sena leader and former Thane Mayor Sanajy More said that though his party welcomed the airport project, the BJP was excluding Sena leaders from the function for the sake of politics.