Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to virtually inaugurate the new integrated terminal building (NITB) at Veer Savarkar International Airport in Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands today. The new facility, constructed at a cost of ₹ 708 crore, aims to enhance connectivity to the island, a union territory.

According to a government press release, the inauguration ceremony will witness the presence of Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union Minister of State for Road, Transport and Highways and Civil Aviation, General (Retd.) V K Singh and other senior officials.

Taking to Twitter, PM Modi shared a series of pictures of the terminal. According to him, the new facility will be a “big boost for tourism in particular”. “The new integrated terminal building at Veer Savarkar International Airport, Port Blair, will ensure easier travel to Andaman and Nicobar islands,” he wrote.

Separately, Mr Scindia too shared several pictures of the new terminal building on Twitter. “Gateway of #AndamanandNicobar, to enter a new era of infrastructure development and enhanced connectivity!” the minister said.

The New Integrated Terminal Building at Veer Savarkar International Airport, which covers around 40,800 sqm, will be capable of serving about 50 lakh passengers annually, as per PTI. It “will further boost tourism and create new economic and employment opportunities for local communities,” Mr Scindia said in a Tweet.

The architectural design of the airport terminal resembles a shell-shaped structure, depicting the sea and islands. According to PM Office (PMO), the new airport terminal building has a number of sustainability features like a double-insulated roofing system to reduce heat gain, skylights to provide maximum inlet of sunlight during the day to reduce artificial light usage inside the building, LED lighting and low heat gain glazing.

Rainwater catchment in an underground water tank, an on-site sewage treatment plant with 100 per cent of treated wastewater reused for landscaping and a 500 KW capacity solar power plant are some other features of the terminal building to ensure a minimal negative impact on the islands’ environment, the press note read.

The airport tarmac, constructed at the cost of ₹ 80 crore, is suitable for two Boeing-767-400 and two Airbus-321-type aircraft. It is suitable for parking 10 aircraft at a time, the PMO said. Notably, Port Blair, being the gateway to the pristine Andaman and Nicobar Islands, is a popular tourist destination.

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