Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Narayan Rane says Jyotiraditya Scindia to inaugurate Chipi airport on October 9, sets up fresh tussle with Sena

New Delhi: Union minister Narayan Rane on Tuesday said the Chipi airport in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra will be inaugurated by aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on October 9, days after the Shiv Sena announced a similar programme by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Rane's announcement could lead to a fresh tussle between him and Sena, his former party.

"On October 9, at 12.30pm, civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia will inaugurate the Chipi airport. I, along with local representatives, will also be present for the event," Rane, who holds the medium, small and micro enterprises portfolio, said at a press conference.

His announcement comes after Vinayak Raut, the Shiv Sena MP from Sindhudurg-Ratnagiri, said the airport will be inaugurated by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on October 7.

"The inauguration of Sindhudurg (Chipi) Airport should be held on October 7, 2021 and chief minister of Maharashtra Hon'ble Shri.@OfficeofUT has been requested to direct concerned officials accordingly," Raut tweeted on September 4 after a meeting with Thackeray.

When asked about this, Rane said he was not sure as to on what basis the Sena was made the announcement and if Raut spoke to the minister concerned.

Rane said it was in 2014 - when he was a cabinet minister in the Maharashtra government - that the airport was completed due to the efforts put by him.

He said even now when the airport is to be operationalised, he did the follow-up with the civil aviation ministry.

Attacking the state government, he said it could not even complete the approach road to the airport at Rs 35 crore.

When asked whether Thackeray would be invited for the event, Rane said it was not necessary that the chief minister has to remain present for the event.

In September 2018, Sindhudurg airport authorities conducted a trial flight and a 10-seater Falcon 2000 plane with three crew members landed at Chipi.

07/09/21 PTI/Times of India

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