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Navi Mumbai airport naming: Police deployed upped, major traffic diversions announced ahead of CIDCO gherao protest

Anticipating a large gathering, the Navi Mumbai police has made massive security arrangements in the city and deployed police personnel to avoid any kind of untoward incident. Additional forces from neighbouring districts have also been brought in.

Written by Vallabh Ozarkar | Mumbai |
Updated: June 24, 2021 12:40:07 am
Police personnel assemble at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium CBD Belapur, amid speculation of protests on June 24 against naming of Navi Mumbai International Airport, Wednesday, June 23, 2021. (PTI Photo)

The Navi Mumbai Police have announced major traffic diversions and increased police presence in the backdrop of a call given by a group of locals to gherao the CIDCO office on Thursday over the naming of the under-construction Navi Mumbai airport after late socialist leader D B Patil.

Anticipating a large gathering, the Navi Mumbai police has made massive security arrangements in the city and deployed police personnel to avoid any kind of untoward incident. Additional forces from neighbouring districts have also been brought in.

Around 5,000 policemen, including seven teams of the State Reserve Police Force, Quick Response Team, and Riot Control Force, have been already deployed around the city. Around 500 policemen would also be deployed at CIDCO Bhavan where villagers have planned to gather.

While CrPC Section 144 (which prohibits the gathering of four or more people in the concerned area) has already been imposed in the area, over a thousand notices under section 149 (to prevent cognizable offences) have been issued by the police to people who are likely to take part in the protest.

The Navi Mumbai Traffic Police has also announced traffic diversions in the city. All the heavy motor vehicles and light motor vehicles going from Mumbai to Pune will be diverted from Airoli toll plaza via Mahape-Shilphata Road to reach Kalamboli, officials said. Vehicles coming from Pune would be diverted from the Purusharth petrol pump at Kalamboli on Sion-Panvel Road to Airoli via Taloja MIDC and Roadpali.

From Uran Phata road to Kharghar, no vehicles will be allowed. Instead, vehicles will be diverted from Bharati Vidyapeeth to Utsav Chowk in Kharghar to avoid the road leading to CIDCO Bhavan. Vehicles will also not be allowed to go via Palm Beach Road. All vehicles on Thane-Belapur Road will be diverted via Mahape Bridge to reach Mumbra-Panvel Highway.

While a group of local residents, under the aegis of BJP-backed the Navi Mumbai International Airport Namakaran Kruti Sameeti, are keen that the airport be named after Patil, the Shiv Sena wants it to be named after its party founder late Balasaheb Thackeray. In December, the state urban development minister Eknath Shinde had written to CIDCO asking it to send a proposal to name the airport after the Shiv Sena founder.

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