Kushinagar (UP), October 20
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated a new international airport at Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh and said his government had taken a number of steps to instil new energy in the aviation sector.
Kushinagar is the final resting place of Gautama Buddha where he attained Mahaparinirvana after his death and is among the most important pilgrim spots for Buddhists.
The new airport, built at an estimated cost of Rs 260 crore, is part of the government's endeavour to connect Buddhist pilgrimage sites around the world.
After inaugurating the airport, Modi said it would boost connectivity and tourism, while also helping develop an entire economic ecosystem in the region and create new job opportunities.
He said the government's special attention to the development of places associated with Lord Buddha and developing Kushinagar are among the top priority areas for the UP and central governments.
Referring to the recent decision to privatise Air India, Modi said the country had taken a big step related to Air India so that its aviation sector should run professionally, and convenience and safety should be given priority.
"This step will give new energy to the aviation sector of India," the prime minister said and also referred to the reforms related to the opening of defence airspace for civil use.
The new Kushinagar airport's terminal building is spread across 3,600 square metres. It has been developed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in association with the Uttar Pradesh government. PTI
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