India will build a network of 100 airports in small towns across the country by 2020, local media reported on Sunday. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced this Saturday in the northern state of Rajasthan's Kishangarh town where he went to lay the foundation stone of an airport aimed at facilitating hundreds of pilgrims who will visit a world famous holy Muslim shrine in the nearby town of Ajmer every year as well as another Hindu temple town nearby. "Airports were considered to be a facility for the rich. However, air connectivity has now become necessary to ensure a country's development. The lack of air connectivity may prove to be a hindrance. Improving air connectivity was among the government's priorities," he was quoted as saying by the media. Singh added: "Initially, big cities were connected by air. Now the focus is on connecting smaller cities. We have launched an ambitious project to develop small airports in small towns and cities. As per our plans, we will develop over 100 small airports in various parts of the country." The prime minister was quoted by Global Times as saying that the airports would be built under public-private partnership. "In the last 10 years, there has been a big jump in people travelling by flights. The number of passengers is expected to go up by the end of 2020. Huge investment from the government as well as from the private sector in the aviation sector is necessary to cater to this growing demand," he said.