On Sunday (July 30), BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia slammed veteran Congress MP P Chidambaram for misleading people about the number of airports built and operationalised under the Modi government.
In a tweet (archive), P Chidambaram alleged, “The claims of the government that they had built “74 airports in the last 7 years” are hollow and untrue. Only 11 new airports were built since May 2014 and which are operational. The 74 “airports” include 9 helicopter stations and two waterdromes.”
“The waterdromes closed down soon after the ‘inauguration’! Out of the 74 “airports”, 15 are no longer in use because there are no flights! The BJP-NDA government launched 479 new “routes”. Out of these, 225 are no longer in operation!” he further claimed.
The claims of the government that they had built “74 airports in the last 7 years” are hollow and untrue
Only 11 new airports were built since May 2014 and which are operational
The 74 “airports” include 9 helicopter stations and two waterdromes. The waterdromes closed down…
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) July 30, 2023
The Congress leader thanked the controversial left-propagandist newspaper for providing him with the information about the airports. “Each scheme of the government can be exposed as partly true and mostly false. Boast and exaggeration are the hallmark of the present government,” P Chidambaram claimed.
Soon after, the Union Minister of Civil Aviation debunked his claims on social media. Jyotiraditya Scindia remarked, “The Govt. under the visionary leadership of PM Modi has “operationalised” 74 airports, some of which had been lying unutilised for decades & were national liabilities, thanks to zero initiative taken by the previous UPA govts! Therefore, the list of 74 includes, both, erstwhile unutilised airports, as well as new airports.”
He emphasised, “The Ministry of Civil Aviation has under the Greenfield Airports Policy 2008, operationalised 12 Airports in the country since 2015. Operations in Hirasar (inaugurated this week) will begin shortly. For your information, only 3 greenfield airports were built in the last 65 years!”
“Operation of a route is completely dependent on market demand (airlines assess the feasibility of operation on a particular route and bid under the scheme). Airport infrastructure can be utilised as and when demand picks up. Also, as airlines create capacities and demand for air travel picks up, many discontinued routes are being bid for again by airlines under new rounds of the UDAN scheme,” he further informed.
1. The Govt. under the visionary leadership of PM Modi has “operationalised” 74 airports, some of which had been lying unutilized for decades & were national liabilities, thanks to zero initiative taken by the previous UPA govts! Therefore, the list of 74 includes, both,… https://t.co/RivHygyqys
— Jyotiraditya M. Scindia (@JM_Scindia) July 30, 2023
Jyotiraditya Scindia stated, “Under the UDAN scheme, 74 Airports/Heliports/Water Aerodromes have been revived/upgraded and operationalised since the inception of the scheme. More than 1.23 crore people and 2.23 lakh flights have flown under the UDAN scheme – the possibility of which was NIL during the UPA regime. And that’s a FACT that can’t be washed away by sensationalist Twitter posts.”
The Union Aviation Minister added that the efforts undertaken by the Modi government demonstrate its commitment to expanding infrastructure, providing accessibility to remote areas and supporting regional development.
“The UDAN scheme is also the sole reason behind the birth of many regional airlines that cater to such routes…These developments have involved incurring unprecedented capital investment – almost Rs 75000 crore in the last 10 years – which is directly linked to the growth of employment in the country and has a deep social impact apart from meeting the growing aspirations of all the strata of the society to undertake air travel, ” he added.
Scinidia concluded, “What earlier governments failed to achieve in 70 years has been achieved in merely 9 years! P Chidambaram ji, clearly, fact-checking is not the current Congress’ strong suit. Desperation for survival and relevance have hit senior discerning leaders such as yourself. Please do not perpetuate half-baked truths!”
Jyotiraditya Scindia hits out at political opportunism of I.N.D.I.A. parties
Hitting out at the opposition’s I.N.D.I.A. alliance, Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said that parties “who used to hate each other” are now coming together “like a family.”
“Under the leadership of PM Modi, the country is touching new heights of development. The ideology of the Bharatiya Janata Party is based on Jan Seva (service of people), Jan Kalyan (upliftment of people), and Gareeb Kalyan (upliftment of the poor). Opposition is upset and that’s why those parties who used to hate each other and couldn’t face each other, are now coming together like a family,” he said while speaking to reporters here on July 27, 2023.
He said the people of the country have faith in PM Modi and the BJP. “I am surprised that the ideology which was rejected by the people of India several times is being touted again and again by the opposition”, said Scidia hitting out at the opposition.
Further, the Union Minister said, “I am confident that the country will elect the BJP again” in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The statement came following the I.N.D.I.A. alliance’s protest in the parliament on July 27 this year.