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NEW DELHI: The government will develop 100 more airports in tier 2 and 3 towns and cities across the country, as it hopes to improve air connectivity, civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on social media platform Twitter.

"Govt led by PM Sh @narendramodi Ji (Narendra Modi) has the target of developing 100 more airports in Tier II & III cities. In (the) last 7 years, routes connecting 56 underserved & unserved airports including 5 heliports & 2 water aerodromes have been made operational," he said in a recent tweet.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her budget speech had said the government plans to privatise airports run by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in tier 2 and 3 cities during 2021-22.

The civil aviation ministry’s plan is to privatise 30-35 airports over the next five years, civil aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola had said during a post budget press conference last month. The airports in Varanasi, Bhubaneshwar, Amritsar, Indore, Raipur and Trichy will be part of the next round of privatisation.

Meanwhile, the government, which manages airports through state-owned airport operator AAI, plans to sell its residual stake in profitable airports developed under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model at New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad.

"Those who are raising concerns should also know that @DelhiAirport & @CSMIA_Official (Mumbai) are on a 60 yr lease, these & the 6 other airports will be back with AAI after the lease period. So, nothing as they claim, is being 'Sold Out!'," Puri said on twitter.

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