A brand new integrated terminal of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata was inaugurated on Sunday by President Pranab Mukherjee. The new terminal, built at a cost of Rs 2, 235 crore has a capacity to handle 20 million passengers annually as compared to the present 7.46 million.
The inauguration was attended by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh and also CPM leader Sitaram Yechury.
Mamata Banerjee spoke of the need for better air connectivity of north Bengal and sought President’s help. “Your excellency, honourable Dada. The problem of night landing facilities at Bagdogra airport exists. There are also the issues of upgradation of airports like in Cooch Behar and air-linking of various cities of the state. You please take a look at them and solve them,” she told Pranab Mukherjee.
Yechury, CPM MP and chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on civil aviation, said the new terminal vindicated his party’s stand on using Airport Authority of India (AAI) for building airport terminals. “I’m not that petty to refer to things about where I am seated,” he said referring to the controversy arising out the sitting arrangement of dignitaries at the function. “But one thing I want to say is that when there was talk of private participation in rebuilding the airport, we (CPM) opposed it. And now this state-of-the art has been built by AAI only,” Yechury told The Indian Express.