Punjab government has lowered standard of international airport

Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij says that the Punjab government had “lowered the standard of the airport by adding Mohali to the name.”

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published:September 17, 2016 5:32 am
Chandigarh International airport, Air India Express Flight, Air India Express Flight water salute, International flight passengers, International airport, Airports Authority of India, Sukhbir singh badal, chandigarh, India news File Photo: Deputy CM Punjab Sukhbir Badal at Airport during the starting of first International flight Chandigarh to Sharjah takeoff from International Airport Mohali on Thursday, September 15 2016. Express photo by Jasbir Malhi

The war of words over the naming of the Chandigarh International Airport continued Friday, with Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij saying that the Punjab government had “lowered the standard of the airport by adding Mohali to the name.”

“If it was Chandigarh Airport, it denotes that the airport is located in a state capital. Calling it Mohali airport denotes only one city. This lowers the standard of the airport. Our government has already given consent to naming the airport after Bhagat Singh,” said Vij.

Vij added, “There is a need to have an entrance of the airport from the Chandigarh side as the residents of the city as well as those coming from Panchkula and outside to the airport are facing problems,” he said. Vij raised questions over the previous Congress government led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda paying Rs 200 crore as Haryana’s share in the airport. Vij said the BJP government would decide on the next course of action.

The naming of the airport has remained a bone of contention over the past several years with the governments of Punjab and Haryana not being in agreement. While it was finally decided that the airport should be named after Bhagat Singh, the Centre is yet to take a decision. In the meantime, the hoardings put up by Punjab government calling the airport Mohali International Airport has given rise to a new controversy.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar wrote to his Punjab counterpart Parkash Singh Badal Thursday raising an objection to the name used in the hoardings and advertisements.

Bhupinder Singh Hooda, meanwhile, said the Haryana government should take the issue to the High Court. He said the share of money was paid to have Haryana’s claim over the airport.

Former Chandigarh MP and Congress leader Pawan Kumar Bansal, in a letter written to Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, has sought that the airport be named Shaheed Bhagat Singh International Airport, Chandigarh.