Manmohan Singh lays foundation stone of Kishangarh airport in Ajmer

Kishangarh, Sept. 21 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone of the Kishangarh Airport in Ajmer district on Saturday, and said it was a memorable day as it marked the beginning of various development possibilities in the area.

"This is one project which that opens the doors to immense scope of development and progress in the area. ... I also greatly appreciate their hard work and dedication. The cultural heritage is very rich. The state's natural beauty, interesting habitude, rich history and unique art that could develop due to the tourism industry here," Dr. Singh said.

Dr. Singh said Kishangarh has become fully accessible to tourists, which will rake in economic progress for the state.

"I am glad that the Civil Aviation Ministry has worked hard in this direction. Although initially the major cities of the country - big emphasis on making the airport, but now smaller - a network of smaller airports in smaller cities to develop an ambitious plan is being implemented," he said.

Dr. Singh stated that commercial airports are expected to grow throughout the country as the number of air travelers is expected to appreciate to 30 million by 2020.

"Kishangarh airport started to be developed under this effort (airports in smaller cities) is the first project. This number is expected to grow in the coming time," Dr. Singh said.

"The number of air passengers across the country last year was 16 million by the end of 2020 and is projected to reach 30 million. Our country will have to work hard for the development of airports in the fast-growing air transport needs can be met," he added.

Appreciating the work of the state Government, Dr. Singh said: " I want to congratulate Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who has worked tirelessly on this project, as well as other projects in the state."

The Prime Minister also congratulated Ajit Singh, the Civil Aviation Ministry, Airport Authority of India and every one else who put in effort to make this project into reality.

Dr. Singh used the opportunity to appeal for communal harmony in the country, and said that it was the only constructive way forward for India's progress,

"Muinuddin Chishti Dargah of Khwaja live in peace and brotherhood is a great example. People of all religions come to pray at the shrine to ask. Thinking and actions related to hatred and violence would not benefit anyone," the Prime Minister said.

"India's tolerance, respect all religions and respect their different ideologies and theories built on the foundation of a great nation. Dharmean diverse in our country, communities, languages and always-peaceful relations between nations, " Dr. Singh added.

The airport, which is likely to start operations in 2016, would cater to pilgrims who visit the Ajmer Dargah and Pushkar Lake.

Later today, Dr. Singh is also expected to inaugurate a solar plant in Jaipur, constructed under Jawaharlal Nehru Solar Mission and Rajasthan's metro project of Jaipur Metro Rail phase-1B.

Before returning to Delhi, he will address two public meetings at Kishangarh and Jaipur.(ANI)