Speaking at a public programme at Bhuvanahalli near Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the “Pete” (market) established by Kempegowda, the Karnataka capital’s founder, was still the commercial lifeline of the city.
Modi also said that the development of Bengaluru should be in line with the principles and vision of Kempegowda. “Centuries ago, Kempegowda thought of commerce, culture and convenience, and the benefits of his farsightedness are now available to the people of Karnataka,” he added.
Modi unveiled a 108ft bronze statue of Kempegowda, titled the Statue of Prosperity, at the airport, offered holy water tributes to it and planted a sapling there. The statue was conceptualised and sculpted by Ram V Sutar of Statue of Unity fame. As much as 98 tonnes of bronze and 120 tonnes of steel went into the making of the statue.
Modi also dedicated the much awaited Terminal 2 at the airport. The swanky terminal is spread across 2,55,661 sq m. Built at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore, it is located on the northeastern side of Terminal 1. With 90 counters, Terminal 2 aims to ensure faster check-ins, and the security check areas are easy to navigate. The two-level domestic and international retail and lounge areas are structured to provide scenic views of the greenery within and outside the building.
Modi said the expansion of air connectivity was the need of the hour and that Terminal 2 had been a long-standing demand of Bengalureans. “The passenger traffic in airports has been increasing and the aviation sector is one of the fastest-growing sectors of India. Before 2014 there were only 70 airports. Now we have more than 140, almost double, and more airports will be coming up in the future. This will boost the business potential of cities and also increase opportunities for the youth,” he said.
“I had posted pictures of T2 on social media earlier and now after visiting, I feel it is much better in reality and very modern,” he added.
The four guiding principles that influenced the design and architecture of the terminal are a terminal in a garden, sustainability, technology, and art and culture. It is also powered with a rainwater-harvesting model that is expected to save 413 million litres of water.
The prime minister also said that in the state, more than 30 lakh patients had benefited from the Ayushman Bharat scheme and that around 55 lakh farmers had received Rs 11,000 crore from the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana. According to him, Karnataka received investments worth Rs 4 lakh crore in the past three years hit by the pandemic and it attracted the highest foreign direct investment last year.