Accusing the Congress governments of "ignoring" defence infrastructure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that country's security is as important as its prosperity.
Inaugurating Purvanchal Expressway in Sultanpur district of Uttar Pradesh, PM Modi said provision for emergency landing of fighter jets has been made on the Expressway.
"When I laid the foundation stone of Purvanchal Expressway three years back, I had never thought that I will land here on an aircraft one day," PM Modi said.
The Prime Minister landed in a C-130 Hercules plane on the airstrip constructed on the Expressway.
He witnessed an airshow on the 3.2 km-long airstrip constructed on the Expressway in Sultanpur district.
"The country's security is as important as its prosperity," he said.
The airstrip on the highway is meant to facilitate landings and take-offs of Air Force jets during emergencies.
"The roar of these aircraft will also be for the people who ignored the defence infrastructure of the nation for decades," the Prime Minister said.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Governor Anandiben Patel and other leaders were present at the occasion.
The 341 kilometre-long Purvanchal Expressway starts from village Chaudsarai in Lucknow on Lucknow-Sultanpur road (NH-731) and ends in Hydaria village located on National Highway number 31, 18 kilometres east of the Uttar Pradesh-Bihar border.
The key feature of the Expressway is the 3.2 km long airstrip to enable landing and take-off of Indian Air Force fighter planes in case of emergency.
The six-lane expressway can be expanded to eight lanes in the future. Constructed at an estimated cost of about Rs 22,500 crore, the Purvanchal Expressway is set to give a boost to the economic development of the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh especially the districts of Lucknow, Barabanki, Amethi, Ayodhya, Sultanpur, Ambedkar Nagar, Azamgarh, Mau and Ghazipur. (ANI)