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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Proposal to name Navi Mumbai airport after Bal Thackeray faces opposition from locals

Last month, the Board of Directors of the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) had sent out the proposal to the state government for final approval.

Written by Vallabh Ozarkar | Mumbai |
May 6, 2021 3:23:10 am
According to locals, ever since the decision of building an airport in the city was taken, they had been insisting on the project being named after the former MP.

CIDCO’s proposal to the state government on naming the Navi Mumbai airport after the late Shiv Sena supremo, Bal Thackeray, has set off a row with Project-Affected Persons (PAPs) and other locals insisting the airport be named after social activist and former Parliam-entarian late Dinkar Balu Patil.

Last month, the Board of Directors of the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) had sent out the proposal to the state government for final approval. Patil had led several protests for farmers and land owners in Panvel district when the urban development body had acquired land in the area for the construction of the city.

In a massive protest in 1984, four farmers had died after which the Gaothan scheme was launche-d allowing a farmer to carry out construction activity in 12.5 per cent of his/her land acquired by the CIDCO. According to locals, ever since the decision of building an airport in the city was taken, they had been insisting on the project being named after the former MP.

But in December, state urban development minister Eknath Shinde wrote to CIDCO, asking it to send out a proposal naming the airport after the late founder of the Shiv Sena. The proposal was subsequently sanctioned by CIDCO in its board meeting.

But the decision has sparked discontent with even local Sena leaders opposing the move. All parties in the area held a meeting Wednesday and decided to form an all-party panel which will ask CIDCO to reconsider its decision.

“No major project has been named after late DB Patil even after he has done so much work for the welfare of the people in Raigad. We, including each and every project-affected person, have been expressing our wish that the airport be named after him,” said Prashant Thakur, BJP MLA from Panvel who was appointed vice president of the committee.

Shiv Sena leader Dashrath Patil said, “We will meet all ministers concerned and request them to consider the work done by late DB Patil for reform and welfare of people affected by the project in Raigad and name the Navi Mumb-ai airport after him.” Patil, appointed president of the all-party and all-organisation panel, said, “We love and respect Bal Thacker-ay but his name can be given to other major projects which are going on in other parts of state. There is no major project dedicated to late DB Patil and so, we demand the airport be named after him.”

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