Kolkata Airport’s New Terminal Inaugurated

According to news reports, President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday inaugurated the new integrated terminal at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (NSCBI). Mukherjee praised the new facility as a hall mark of excellence that the public sector can achieve.

“I congratulate the AAI (Airports Authority of India) and the civil aviation ministry for such a great work. I believe there is no conflict between the public and private sectors. The question is how efficient it can be,” Mukherjee said.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury, who also attended the event, lost no opportunity to claim credit. “Because of the Left, UPA-1 (United Progressive Alliance) was forced not to give the airport to private players. Mukherjee, too, was part of that government. Today, he acknowledged that the public sector, too, can deliver the highest level of efficiency,” said Yechury. AAI had hired a Thai-Indian consortium, Italian-Thai Development Public Co. Ltd(ITD)-ITD Cementation, to build the airport.

According to Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh, a Kolkata-Delhi-New York AirIndia flight will mark the commencement of operation of the new terminal on Wednesday.

Initially, the new terminal will be used only for international flight operations. Airliners will shift their facilities from the existing terminal to the new one in a phased manner. Although West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asked the AAI to make new facility fully operational in another 15 days, officials said this could be done only by the end of March 2013.

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