Thousands of people, including women and children, on Thursday reached Jewar amid heavy security as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to lay the foundation stone for the Noida International Airport.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his cabinet colleagues, including the state’s Civil Aviation Minister Nand Gopal Gupta, will attend the event.
The Greenfield airport, which will be built near Delhi in western Uttar Pradesh, is billed to be India’s largest upon completion.
Heavy security has been deployed at and around the event venue. Visitors are being frisked before entering the ‘jan sabha’ area, officials said, adding that the police have banned black flags.
“The foundation stone of the world’s fourth largest international airport, ‘Noida International Airport’ will be laid by respected Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi ji today. This airport will give Uttar Pradesh a new global identity. With this, Uttar Pradesh will be the only state to house five international airports,” Mr Adityanath tweeted in Hindi.
Besides locals, scores of people from Bulandshahr, Ghaziabad, Mathura, Hathras, Aligarh and Agra arrived at Jewar on tractors and motorcycles.
BJP leader and Jewar MLA Dhirendra Singh, who is credited to have played a key role during negotiations with farmers over land acquisition, led a convoy of hundreds of supporters to the venue.
The MLA himself drove a tractor as a number of people on motorcycles, cars, tractors and buses followed him to the event site, where personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force, Rapid Action Force and Provincial Armed Constabulary, besides the police were deployed.
“Police Commissioner Alok Singh on Wednesday held a meeting to review the security preparations for the programme. All police officials were briefed and directed not to allow any visitor carrying firearms, liquor, or black flags, etc to the venue,” a police spokesperson said.
“Security personnel deployed at entry points have been directed to not allow any person without frisking. All officials were told to reach for duty four hours prior to the event and stay till 6 pm,” the spokesperson said.
The airport is being developed by Swiss concessionaire Zurich International Airport AG’s subsidiary Yamuna International Airport Private Limited for the Uttar Pradesh government.
The first phase of the project is spread over 1,300 hectares and would cost more than Rs 10,000 crore, the officials said, adding that it is expected to be ready by October 2024.