NEW DELHI: Following controversy over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement on Monday that 35 airports had been built in the last four years, the ministry of civil aviation on Tuesday clarified that 33 airports had been connected with scheduled flight operations during that period.
On Monday, the PM had said that there were only 65 airports in the country until the year 2014. However, government data shows that there were 94 operational airports in the country in 2014. The PMO on Monday quoted the PM in a tweet: “Today, Our 100 airports have become operational. Out of these, 35 airports are added in last four years.
Since Independence to 2014, over 67 years, there were 65 airports. i.e an average of one airport per year, whereas for the past four years, on average, nine airports have been completed per year.” The tweet clearly suggested that 35 airports had been completed or built in the last four years.
However, a reply by the ministry of civil aviation in the Lok Sabha on December 1, 2014 said, “Airports Authority of India is managing 125 airports/ civil enclaves in the country. Out of this, 94 airports/civil enclaves are operational and 31 airports/ civil enclaves are non-operational.” Another reply by the ministry in the Lok Sabha, on July 19, 2018, said that 101 airports/civil enclaves were operational and scheduled/RCS flights were operating at 86 airports.
On comparing the two replies, it becomes clear that only seven airports/civil enclaves became operational in the last four years. The ministry on Tuesday tweeted: “In the last four years, the number of airports connected with scheduled flights (and thus benefitting general public) has gone up from 67 to 100 airports.”