Image Credits: Republic World
A massive protest is currently underway over the naming of the upcoming new international airport in Navi Mumbai. The protest is being carried out by locals under the name of International Airport Namkarana Kruti Samiti amid a heavy police deployment by the Navi Mumbai Police at multiple points in the city. The protestors have threatened to do a gherao at CIDCO Bhavan in order to press for their demands of naming the airport after socialist leader Dinkar Balu Patil.
The protestors have claimed that approximately 1 lakh people have gathered for the protest. In addition, the protest is also backed by various local leaders and former MLAs and MPs. Earlier on Tuesday, the Navi Mumbai Police had warned the protestors to not protest at the CIDCO Bhavan in Belapur, Navi Mumbai in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, the protestors had not received permission from the state government or the local administration. The protestors are opposing the decision to name the airport after late Shiv Sena Supremo Balasaheb Thackeray and are instead demanding that it should be named after the socialist leader D B Patil who is said to have fought for the farmers and residents of Navi Mumbai to ensure that they get a respectable compensation for the land from CIDCO. Patil is said to have championed the cause of farmers in the Thane and Palghar areas.
Earlier on June 10, it was announced that the Navi Mumbai International Airport will be named after Shiv Sena founder late Bal Thackeray. The upcoming airport is is expected to relieve the pressure on the Mumbai international airport. Some local politicians had demanded that the new airport be named for farmer leader late D B Patil. Maharashtra's Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde, who made the announcement, said the chief minister has assured the DB Patil Action Samiti, which is raising this demand, that some other project will be named after the farmer leader.
"We have a lot of respect for D B Patil. The chief minister has requested the action committee to recommend any other project (to be named after Patil)," said Eknath Shinde, a senior Shiv Sena leader.
"One meeting has taken place (with the committee) and one more will take place. A positive outcome is expected," he had added.
CIDCO, the state-run planning agency which is executing the greenfield airport project, proposed that it be named after Bal Thackeray, he said.
With PTI Inputs