Why Madhya Pradesh lacks good air connectivity

Lalit Shastri

Gwalior doesn’t offer any traffic, still due to Madhavrao Scindia, I had to connect it by air although it was a loss making circuit – PC Sen, when he was heading the national carrier in the 90s of the last century

There has been a trail of comments on a facebook post today with everyone tagged expressing concern about Madhya Pradesh, especially the two cities Gwalior and Jabalpur, lacking good air connectivity.

Air connectivity is a barometer of economic progress that has to be across the board… One can’t think of airlines, including the national carrier, to stick their neck out and serve a sector that’s uneconomical and beyond redemption. The adverse situation has only got precipitated over time since we have allowed the creation of an environment in which only politicians, crony capitalists and their cronies prosper while industries crumble and investment becomes a mirage due to soaring production costs, extreme corruption and a warped and complicated system of enforcement and tax collection. It is rather sad that most people, who are in the unorganized sector, suffer drudgery and receive less than economic wages. We have to change the political narrative and break the politician-bureaucrat-crony capitalist nexus to think big and look forward to a robust aviation sector.

Now coming to the point about Gwalior and Jabalpur lacking good air connectivity…I recall when PC Sen was CMD Indian Airlines and Air India between 1995 and 1998, I had interviewed him as Principal Correspondent of The Hindu. Sen had told me that Gwalior offera hardly any traffic, still due to Madhavrao Scindia, he had to connect it by air although it was a loss making circuit.

Development and progress, more than two decades after what the CMD of Air India had observed regarding Gwalior, remains a mirage. Now what’s being flaunted by the present political leadership and those in the government as infrastructure for growth is grossly inadequate and it’s only in pockets that stand out as oasis in a vast desert that needs focussed attention.

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