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Aaditya Thackeray writes to Aviation Minister for 2 new airports in Maharashtra

Shiv Sena (UBT) MLA and former Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray on Wednesday wrote to Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia, requesting new airports in Palghar district and Fardapur, and sought clarity on the proposed airports at Pune and Nashik, reports The Indian Express.

“I have written to the Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia ji, placing on record requests for development of new airports in Palghar Dist. and Fardapur, and clarity for airports of Pune and Nashik. I hope he takes up the development of these 4 airports, as it will help give a boost to development and support passenger connectivity, industry, agriculture and tourism,” Aaditya Thackeray said in a tweet.

In the letter dated March 8, Aaditya urged Scindia to put Maharashtra in the priority area of development for the civil aviation department.

“During the presentation of the ‘Budget 2023’ presented by Hon’ble Finance Minister, we heard a mention of 50 airports/ helipads/ ports to be developed/upgraded in India. We were delighted to hear of this announcement, as it would surely usher in progress. However, the absence of details has led to hope and confusion, at the same time. I write to you, urging you to put Maharashtra in the priority area of development for the civil aviation department,” Aaditya said.

Aaditya said that while working as a Minister in the state government (2019-2022), it had been his focus to push ahead with several key projects that include a third airport for Mumbai at Palghar district and the development of the Fardapur airfield.

“Mumbai needs a third airport over the next 10 years. While the Navi Mumbai airport will be ready soon, the then CM Uddhav Thackeray ji had asked MADC [Maharashtra Airport Development Company] to start working on an airport in Palghar district. This airport would not only cater to Mumbai’s needs but also support the growing urban population of Palghar district and its industrial belt. It will be a source of revenue earner for the state of Maharashtra if this airport turns to be a cargo hub, passenger airport as well as parking opportunities for planes,” he said in the two-page letter.

On the Fardapur airfield project, Aaditya wrote, “Ajanta Caves are truly a sight to behold. Each day, thousands of tourists flock to the caves to see this wonder of the world. The distance though from its closest airport is about 160 km and that makes this journey quite a trek. An airfield in Fardapur, another project that the MVA government was exploring, could help us boost the local connectivity and bring this site on the global map of Buddhism. We were exploring to work on this project with the tourism & culture department of the Govt of Maharashtra, and, also have countries that are a part of the global Buddhist cultural heritage, support this project.”

Apart from the two greenfield projects, Aaditya also requested that the issues related to the Nashik and Pune airports be resolved. “The Pune airport expansion or a new airport for Pune has been a long-debated issue. It is a source of great despair for Maharashtra and Punekars, that Pune, the education capital of India, with such a rich past, a buzzing present and a bright future, has been deprived of its full potential of connecting with the world, due to the lack of a full-fledged civilian airport. I humbly urge you to quickly resolve this long pending debate and give justice to Pune’s global connectivity potential,” the letter states.

Highlighting the issues of Nashik airport, Aaditya stated, “The Nashik airport is another issue of great pain to Maharashtra. Nashik is one of our holiest cities with a similar rich heritage as Pune and great potential to be tapped, with airport connectivity. The airport has all the facilities that require to make it of global standards, however, over the past few years, it has seen an unfair bias to reduce the number of flights that connect Nashik to the rest of India and the world. It is my humble request to give justice to Nashik and its air connectivity to the rest of the country in equal measure.”

“I have only mentioned a few of Maharashtra’s multiple points of potential and roadblocks in the sector of civil aviation, directly linking it to industry, agriculture, tourism growth. I hope you will take cognisance of my humble requests and give justice to Maharashtra’s civil aviation needs,” the letter reads.
(Source: The Indian Express)

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