Home Knowledge Path to Progress... “Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik” (UDAN)

Path to Progress... “Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik” (UDAN)

by Madhavi Mihir Bhuta (National Executive Member, BJP Mahila Morcha)
Feb 04, 2021
Path to Progress... “Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik” (UDAN), Knowledge, KonexioNetwork.com

When I would travel to my native place, a small town (rather a village in those days) during vacations, about Fifty years ago, my neighbourhood playmates, the local village children had one programme fixed for every evening...

To watch the Airplane flying high above in the sky.

Airplane, gushing amongst the clouds, leaving behind dusty and smoky images in the clouds, creating sound that had magical impact on little kids, who could never imagine how people could get to sit into it!!!

Even in urban areas with an Airport in the vicinity, air travel was always considered affordable for privileged few.

The entire Civil Aviation facility was for the benefit of the affluent class.

For a nation, declared by the socialist governments of Nehru-Gandhi, to be walking towards equality,  the freedom of flight, the singular common dream of the whole of mankind since the dawn of time, was not within the reach of a common man.

Narendra Modiji comes from a humble background. He understands the psychology of a common man, that the first step towards progress is to feel that the goal is achievable. When the aspirations of a common man are fulfilled, the man gets the courage and the vigor to do better in life.

Under the visionary leadership of Narendra Modi, UDAN Scheme was launched by Hardeep Singh Puri and the Ministry of Civil Aviation, on 27th April 2017.

The UDAN Scheme is a key component of  Hon. Prime Minister’s Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP), released on the 15th June 2016.

The UDAN scheme is jointly funded by the central government and state governments. Several states have come on board and signed ‘Memorandum of Understanding” with the Union Government for this scheme.

UDAN-TCS (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) is a regional connectivity Scheme launched by the government that aims to make unserved/underserved airports in the small cities operational with regular flights and offer subsidised airfare to encourage more and more travelers to travel by air at an affordable price.

The scheme has two components. The first component is to develop new airports  and enhance the existing regional airports to increase the number of operational airports for scheduled civilian flights.

The second component is to add several hundred financially viable, capped-airfare and establish new regional flight routes to connect to unserved airports in smaller towns with bigger cities by using ‘Viability Gap Funding’ (VGF), if needed.

UDAN Scheme will run for 10 years and can be extended thereafter.

The Central Government offers following concessions :

A) Viability Gap Funding (VGF)to subsidise the airfare.

B) Concession on Service tax on tickets.

C) Code-sharing of UDAN-RCS flights permitted with other operators.

The State Governments contribution would include :

A) Reduction of VAT (or GST) to 1% or less for 10 years.

B) Coordinate with Oil companies for creation of fueling infrastructure on airports.

C) Provision of Free land for development of airport, with multimodal (Rail, Road, Metro, Waterways, etc) hinterland connectivity.

D) Provision of free trained security.

E) Provision of Water, Electricity and other utilities at reduced rate.

F) Bearing the 20% share of Viability Gap Funding; North Eastern states, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Union Territories shell out 10% share only.

F) State Governments are encouraged to provide additional concessions.

UDAN is being made operational in phases.

Airport operators (Commercial or Private Companies, Central and state governments or their entities such as AAI and Defence Ministry) must provide the following concessions in order to participate in UDAN-RCS scheme.

A) No landing, parking or other charges.

B) No Terminal Navigation Landing Charges (TNLC)

C) Allow selected airlines to manage the ground handling of flights.

D) Route Navigation and Facilitation Charges (RNFC) are applicable on UDAN-RCS flights by AI on a discounted rate of 42.40 % of Normal rates.

In UDAN 1.0 phase, 5 airline companies were awarded 128 flight routes to 70 airports (including 36 newly made operational airports).

The first flight routes were between Shimla and Delhi as well as between Kadappa-Hydrabad-Nanded.

In UDAN 2.0, in 2018, the Ministry of Civil Aviation announced 73 underserved and unserved airports.

For the first time, during this phase, helipads were also connected.

Under the UDAN 3.0, inclusion of Tourism Routes were  co-ordinated with the Ministry of Tourism.

This phase was marked with inclusion of Sea Planes for connecting Water Aerodromes.

On the lines of the Sabarmati riverfront in Gujarat, the Yamuna riverfront in Delhi is likely to begin Seaplane services soon.

This would boost the number of potential landing sites from nearly 500 airports to over five lakh, covering over 7,000 km of coastline of our nation.

Spice Jet has placed a US$400 Million order for 100 of these 12-seater amphibian seaplanes.

It also initiated bringing in a number of routes in the North-East Region under the ambit of UDAN.

Recently, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has included priority routes connecting Bilaspur and Ambikapur in Chhattisgarh in the UDAN 4.0 phase.

Cargo flights would be given similar benefits except no VGF is provided.

The significant objective behind the UDAN Scheme is provision of affordable air travel cost. Majority of Bharat’s population had never dreamt of air travel for so many decades post independence.

Besides psychological reasons, the efficient traveling means efficient time saving and efficient utilisation of time. If more people save the time spent on travelling, it would result in the faster wealth generation for the nation. 

The previous Congress Governments lacked this basic understanding. 

Rambandhu lived in a small village about 20 kms away from Nanded in Maharashtra. He had to migrate to far off Hyderabad in search of employment. His family lived in the parental home in the village with all the elders. In early 2000, when his wife was pregnant with their first child, she  had to be taken to nearby Nanded hospital to undergo emergency C Section delivery. Rambandhu, received the news but there were no faster means of transport which he could afford and be by his wife's side. His train travel would take nothing less then 15 hours!!!

In such an hour of calamity, Rambandhu’s helplessness left him heartbroken. Such incidences during the ill health  of his parents, left a void in his heart.

But with Narendra Modi Ji’s Government at the Center, the scenario is changed.

UDAN Scheme’s major aim is to Cap, and not exceed, the airfare at 2500/- for one hour flight.

In the central government‘s budget for 2021-22, the sum of 600 Crore has been allocated for UDAN Scheme, which would be utilised for the revamping of 50 airports.

Moreover, creating air strips near international borders carry strategic importance.

The central government has allocated funds for constructing Greenfield airport at Holangi in Arunachal Pradesh which will  have a significant impact on our relations with China.

A well established air connectivity with remote regions can bring in huge investment, promote tourism, create ample of  employment

It aims to create a ticketing volume from 80 million to 300 million by the end of 2022.

International UDAN Scheme is an extension of domestic UDAN Scheme. It directly connects the smaller towns with important destinations in the neighbourhood, utilising the Open Sky Policy that Bharat shares with neighbouring nations.

Hence, UDAN Scheme is a mission that gives our son of the soil a dream to be part of the Nation Building.