Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday announced that Uttar Pradesh has got its third international airport in the form of Kushinagar. In a Tweet, Mr. Puri said that this will help boost tourism in the region.
“Kushinagar Airport gets necessary clearances from DGCA to become 3rd licensed international airport of Uttar Pradesh. Will boost tourism in the region & facilitate travel on Buddhist circuit by providing direct aviation connectivity to the city where Lord Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana,” Mr. Puri said in his Tweet.
Kushinagar Airport gets necessary clearances from DGCA to become 3rd licensed international airport of UP. Will boost tourism in the region & facilitate travel on Buddhist circuit by providing direct aviation connectivity to the city where Lord Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana. pic.twitter.com/PhQsp9RLJ3
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) February 23, 2021
The airport is located in the vicinity of several Buddhist cultural sites like Sravasti, Kapilvastu and Lumbini. The other two international airports in Uttar Pradesh are Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport of Lucknow and Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport of Varanasi. Another one being built in Jewar, Greater Noida.
The announcement comes a day after the state government presented ₹5.5 lakh budget for the coming financial year.
Many development projects, including airport, were the special focus in UP finance minister Suresh Khanna’s outlay for next year. He announced that a sum of ₹101 crore has been earmarked for an upcoming airport in Ayodhya that has been named Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram Airport.
Mr. Khanna said that the state government was working on the mantra of making UP self-reliant and said a number of campaigns had been launched to establish the rule of law in the state. He also spoke about the industrial reforms that make setting up of industry easy in UP and improved connectivity in schools/colleges by development of digital villages to make the youth aware about education and employment scenario in the world.
In June last year, Centre had given its go ahead to upgrade the Kushinagar airport to an international one.
Kushinagar Set to Improve Connectivity
Kushinagar itself is a Buddhist cultural site and declaration as an “international airport” will offer improved connectivity, wider choice of competitive costs to the air-travellers. It will result in boosting of domestic/international tourism and economic development of the regions. It will be an important strategic location with the international border close by, the government had said in a statement.
The government said Kushinagar draws around 200-300 devotees from Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, Myanmar, etc who come to offer prayers on any given day.
The ‘Buddhist Circuit’ is a key pilgrimage destination for 530 million practising Buddhists across the globe, the statement had noted.