Updated: August 10, 2021 10:34:50 am
Activists and local residents who have been demanding that the under-construction Navi Mumbai Airport be named after veteran socialist leader D B Patil undertook a ‘Mashal Morcha’ at Jasai village in Uran on Monday.
They gathered near a memorial for Patil, where they lit torches and undertook a march to their respective villages in Raigad, Thane and Palghar districts.
“The peaceful march was to create awareness and send a message. We request the government to consider the locals’ demand and name the airport after our leader D B Patil,” said Dashrath Patil, president of Navi Mumbai Airport All Party Action Committee.
“We had given a deadline of August 15 to the government, but there is no word from them yet. Instead of contacting us they are slapping criminal cases against leaders of the protest. If the decision is not changed, we will stop the work of the airport from August 16,” said Prashant Thakur, BJP MLA from Panvel.
On June 24, people from Thane and Raigad districts had staged a large protest rally against the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) in Navi Mumbai, demanding that the airport be named after D B Patil and not Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray, which was sanctioned earlier at a board meeting of CIDCO.
In December last year, state Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde had written to CIDCO asking it to send a proposal of naming the airport after Bal Thackeray, and CIDCO followed the instructions. The move did not go down well with people in Raigad and Thane, who have been demanding for long that the airport be named after Patil.
On June 10, the state government announced that the airport would be named after Bal Thackeray, which led to the intensified protest of June 24.
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