Requested PM Modi To Inaugurate Pune Airport's New Terminal On February 19: Ajit Pawar

Requested PM Modi To Inaugurate Pune Airport's New Terminal On February 19: Ajit Pawar

The inauguration has been a long-pending issue, with Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi recently raising concerns about it in the upper house

Gunwanti ParasteUpdated: Friday, February 09, 2024, 11:38 AM IST
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Requested PM Modi To Inaugurate Pune Airport's New Terminal On February 19: Ajit Pawar | ANI Photo

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar provided an update on the long-pending inauguration of the Pune Airport's new terminal on Friday. He mentioned that the state government has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate the new terminal on February 19, but added that the PM's Office is yet to make a decision.

Pawar stated, "PM Narendra Modi is coming to Satara on 19th February for various programmes. We have requested him to inaugurate the newly constructed airport (terminal) but it's the PMO's right to decide this."

The Deputy CM, who is also Pune's Guardian Minister, visited the new terminal and expressed his thoughts, stating, "Recognising the shortcomings of the old terminal, the government invested in developing this new one. With the increasing number of commuters at Pune Airport, we have installed five bag checking and loading arrangements and a dedicated kids' zone. Additionally, there are a total of 34 counters available, and plans are underway to renovate the old terminal to match the standards of the new one."

He further elaborated, "Our plan includes renovating the old terminal to accommodate 24 counters for commuters. Moreover, we are ensuring that up to 10 airplanes can stand simultaneously, enhancing operational efficiency. Upon completion of the old terminal's renovation, we will integrate it with the new one by breaking down the middle wall, thus creating a unified airport experience. Additionally, parking facilities will also be upgraded to meet the growing demand."

The inauguration has been a long-pending issue, with Rajya Sabha MP Priyanka Chaturvedi recently raising concerns about it in the upper house. She questioned why Pune Airport's new terminal building has not been inaugurated and made operational for passengers despite the work being completed for the last five months.

In response, Minister of State for Civil Aviation VK Singh mentioned that the work on the terminal is still ongoing and has not been completed yet. He clarified, "It is not the fact that the new terminal building is waiting to be inaugurated for the last five months. In fact, the work is still going on and still, the new terminal building work has not been completed."

Chaturvedi later took to X (formerly Twitter) and questioned, "As per Pune Airport authorities, the new terminal at Pune Airport has been ready for five months. Today, when asked a specific question on why the inauguration has been pending, the minister informed the house that the terminal isn’t complete. Who is lying and misleading?"

Meanwhile, the official X handle of the Pune Airport replied to Chaturvedi's post and stated the process of installation of the inline baggage screening system is in progress. "Improvement in artworks, testing/dry run of various operational facilities along with Site Acceptance Test (SAT) of CCTV, IT infrastructure, and FIDS system is also underway and will be completed soon," the post further read.

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader and Worli MLA Aaditya Thackeray also took a dig at the BJP-led central government and said for them "elections are the criteria, not citizens". "The government refuses to inaugurate the new terminal building of the old Pune Airport, fully ready, for five months. On the other hand, to claim credit, they want to inaugurate an unfinished coastal road in Mumbai," he added.

Notably, when Union Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia recently inspected the new terminal, he said that the inauguration will be done in two or three weeks. "My responsibility was to complete the project which has happened now. The Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Ministers will discuss and decide about the inauguration,” he had said.

The new terminal, constructed at a cost of ₹423 crore, spans 51,595 square metres and has the capacity to handle 12 million passengers annually.

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