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The Flight Of
Union railways minister Nitish Kumar is not the only one to shower official favours on home state Bihar. Fast catching up with him in this game of dispensing benedictions is the other mantri from Bihar, Syed Shahnawaz Hussain. Recently, the Union civil aviation minister was in Gaya to mark the completion of its airport, a long-cherished dream of the Buddhist pilgrims. Soon after, the minister was in Patna to announce that Indian Airlines would introduce a bi-weekly Airbus A320 flight from Gaya to Bangkok on November 6.
Gaya now enters India’s aviation map as the 65th domestic station on the IA network. The project had a less than ideal start as the inaugural function and flight had to be postponed. But, with the introduction of the 145-passenger Airbus service, Hussain has filled a lacuna felt for years in this key node on the Buddhist circuit, also a big draw in international tourism.
What next? Mantriji has promised to make airports at Kishanganj, his electoral constituency, and Muzaffarpur in north Bihar operational in the coming days.