From ET Realty
SURAT: The airport action group in the diamond city has moved an online petition addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding an international airport for Surat.
The Surat Airport Action Committee (SAAC), in its petition on change.org has urged the central and state governments to provide international air connectivity to the Diamond City. The petition has stated that the city is ranked second-biggest in Gujarat and is among 35 biggest metropolitan cities in the world. Besides this, Surat has been declared as the fourth-fastest city in terms of average annual growth from 2006 to 2020 as per the City Mayor’s Foundation. With the population of over 45 lakh, the city has recorded 11.5% GDP grown during the last seven fiscals from 2001-2008, which is fastest in India compared to other cities.
The Diamond City has many awards to its credit including the ‘best city’ by the Annual Survey of India’s City System (ASICS) in 2013, first smart IT city. It also accounts for 2.97 million internet users, which is about 65% of its total population. The city houses the world’s largest diamond-cutting and polishing industry with annual turnover of over Rs 90,000 crore and employs 4.5 lakh diamond workers and the country’s largest man-made fabric (MMF) industry and a wholesale MMF market.
The petition further stated that the city’s geographical position is important in DMIC (Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor) and Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL). Surat is selected as fourth smart city by Government of India, IT giant IBM and Microsoft.
Despite this, the city is lacks proper air connectivity. Only two flights between Delhi and Surat and three days a week flight between Mumbai and Surat is operational from the airport.