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Investors’ meet on mind, Yogi to fast track air-connectivity plan

During his Myanmar visit earlier in August, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath had marketed the Buddhist circuit, along with Ramayana and Krishna circuits, among the international audience

lucknow Updated: Nov 08, 2017 19:49 IST
Manish Chandra Pandey
Manish Chandra Pandey
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Uttar Pradesh,chief minister Yogi Adityanath,air connectivity
The plan to connect Lucknow-Varanasi, Lucknow-Gorakhpur and Lucknow-Allahabad sectors by air is in place.((HT File Photo))

Ahead of the proposed global investors’ meet at Lucknow in March, the Yogi Adityanath government has stepped up its air-connectivity plan for all important Uttar Pradesh towns, including religious pilgrimage sites.

“The plan to connect Lucknow-Varanasi, Lucknow-Gorakhpur and Lucknow-Allahabad sectors by air is in place. This will also come in handy for tourists visiting UP to quickly cover all major religious tourism sites that are being upgraded by the government,” a senior government official told Hindustan Times soon after chief minister Yogi Adityanath shared details of his visit to Mauritius at his 5 KD residence.

“The fares will be affordable,” the official said hoping the service would roll out by year-end.

During his Myanmar visit earlier in August, Adityanath had marketed the Buddhist circuit, along with Ramayana and Krishna circuits, among the international audience.

Sources said the much-delayed Kushinagar airport project could now be ready by March.

Once ready, it would be a crucial link to the Buddhist circuit that comprises several east UP districts and parts of Bihar.

While Adityanath confirmed Kushinagar airport will be ready soon, he wasn’t sure on the airport project in Gorakhpur.

“Despite an in-principle approval for the project, 300 odd forest trees on the land where the airport is to come up have delayed the work,” he said.

The Lucknow-Gorakhpur air-connectivity till then will be ensured through chopper, said an official.

The state government is also coming up with a joint cultural centre known as ‘Apravasi Bhawan’ in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha seat Varanasi.

Beside encouraging cultural exchange between people of different countries like Mauritius where Girmitiyas live, the centre will have a museum to record their achievements.

The ‘Girmitiyas’ are the descendants of the indentured Indian labourers.

Adityanath, who had described Myanmar as ‘Brahmdesh’ or the land of the gods, was in Mauritius for three days last week.

He was delighted to find “striking similarities” between Mauritius and UP and Bihar.

“There is a Shiva temple called the Mangal Mahadev. There is a Hanuman temple and a huge statue of Goddess Durga too. With nearly 51% Hindu population, there is so much we share in common culturally and otherwise,” Adityanath said while interacting with select newspersons.

Apart from temples that adorn rural parts of Mauritius like UP/Bihar villages, the monk-turned chief minister was also charmed by the sizeable Indian community that speaks Bhojpuri and Hindi.

“A Hindi secretariat is coming up there and so is a Ramayana centre. Owing to persistent efforts of the Indian community there the Mauritius government has also approved the demand to include Bhojpuri in course curriculum,” the CM said.

During his Mauritius visit Adityanath also gave Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards to 9 people of Indian descent, including two who traced their roots to Gorakhpur.

The UP government is also coordinating with Britain to encourage descendants of Indian labourers travel to UP to trace their roots.

In fact, Adityanath’s November visit to Port Louis also marked the 183 years of the arrival of the first 36-member group of indentured labourers to the Island nation on November 2, 1834.

It also marked a century since the British stopped the experiment of shipping indentured labourers to overseas plantation sites.

First Published: Nov 08, 2017 19:49 IST