Abandoned air strips to be used
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Abandoned air strips to be used

Abandoned air strips to be rendered usable within a decade, to develop rural economy: Praful Patel.

india Updated: Jan 23, 2006 12:45 IST

About 400 air strips lying abandoned in the country would be rendered usable within a decade, due to efforts being made by the Centre to develop rural economy, Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel has said.

If this happened, a farmer in a remote village in India would be able to sell his produce in a departmental store in far off European countries, the Minister said delivering a talk on Civil Aviation: Dreams and Possibilities at a function "Mumbai Dialogue," organised by a social organisation in Mumbai.

Patel said, despite advances in civil aviation sector the country did not have a dedicated freighter aircraft although there were plans to convert some passenger planes of Indian (formerly Indian airlines) and Air-India to freighters.

The role of aviation was not only to transport people or provide air connectivity but also to touch the lives of the people, Patel said.

The Minister said he had taken up the issue of integrating civil aviation and agriculture with Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.

Patel said developing infrastructure was the top agenda of the government.

About Mumbai, he said, it was not necessary to develop the city on the lines of Shanghai. Mumbai should have its own model and others should emulate it, the Minister said.

First Published: Jan 21, 2006 19:15 IST