Maharashtra is firmly poised to carry forward the objectives of central government’s ‘UDAN Yojana’ while targeting smaller cities for developing airports within a 800 km radius of existing airports.
With a cap on the fare at INR 2,500 for a distance of 500 kilometres, it opens air travel opportunity for the common man! Special impetus comes from the guidance and personal interest of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis who has declared that the state will bear entire security and fire safety arrangements costs and also directed to provide water and electricity at concessional charges at these airports.
Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) was created with the mandate to develop and manage airports in the state. It has to develop nine airports in the state of Maharashtra. In addition, MADC is developing a Multimodal International Cargo Hub and International Airport at Nagpur popularly known as MIHAN. A Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is also being developed at Nagpur – one of the fastest growing business centres in the central India.
In the first phase, airports were planned at Shirdi, Amravati, Dhulia and Solapur. MADC, with its characteristic dynamism, got the Shirdi International Airport commissioned October 1, 2017 and dedicated it to the people at the hands of President Shri Ram Nath Kovind. Two flights operate connecting Shirdi to Mumbai and Hyderabad. Few more cities will be added soon. At Pune, a Greenfield Airport is being developed to cater the increase in passenger and cargo traffic. In the second phase, airports at Ratnagiri, Kolhapur, Sindhudurg and Jalgaon are planned.
MIHAN project has ushered in a dynamic phase of development in Vidarbha apart from positively impacting the whole state. It focuses on infrastructure, education, agricultural produce marketing chain, and employment generation. The project has an international airport planned over 1,388 hectares with a longer run-way and two new terminals with facilities for about hundred aircrafts, 1.2 million passengers and 869 thousand tonnes of cargo handling along with aircraft engineering and maintenance facility. SEZ is being developed over 1,238 hectares with state of the art infrastructure having three and six-lane roads, optical fibre cable, water treatment plant, well developed drainage system and uninterrupted power is supplied from open excess at concessional rates.
A modern rail terminal and multi-modal logistics park having connectivity with major ports of the country, an air cargo terminal to promote exports, and a model road terminal with 1,000 trucks parking capacity are also being constructed.
Major companies actively participating in MIHAN are Infosys, TCS, TechMahindra, Lupin Pharma, Air India, TAL, FSC, Hexaware and SP Infocity. Mahindra lifespaces and Moraj are creating residential complexes. Patanjali is developing Mega Food-Park in around 335 acres of land. Indo-UK Institute of Health is coming up with ‘MEDICITY’ in 150 acres. Reliance Aerostructure Ltd. is also developing aero space park in 106 acres of land. Supporting the quality education, IIM and AIIMS have been provided 142 and 150 acres of land respectively for establishing their centres. With MADC’s unambiguous developmental and supportive policies, many Indian as well as international companies are encouraged and eager to come to MIHAN… and that’s Maharashtra’s gain.