The issue of naming the Navi Mumbai airport kicks up a controversy
Raju Vernekar 26 April 2018
Even before the work of the proposed Navi Mumbai international airport fully gears up, claims by different groups to name the airport, after their leaders, has stirred up a hornet’s nest.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had performed the bhoomi poojan for the Rs16,000-crore project on 18 February 2018 and had also e-launched the commissioning of phase I of the fourth container terminal at JNPT (Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust), during his visit. Subsequently the Shiv Sena Minister Anant Geete, had opined that the airport could be named after Chhatrapati Shivaji, since the new airport is being constructed, to ease traffic burden on Mumbai airport, which has already been named after the great Maratha warrior.  
However the followers of veteran Peasants and Workers’ Party (PWP) leader late D B Patil, have  begun a campaign demanding the naming of the airport after him. They have also opened a Facebook page titled “Loknete Diba Patil Vimantal, Navi Mumbai” and have been sharing information about project-affected people, the work allotted by CIDCO to different contractors etc. allegedly by passing local contractors (sons of the soil).  In addition, PWP has passed a resolution stating that the airport be  named after Patil. Similar resolutions have also been passed by the Agri Samaj Parishad and “Loknete Diba Patil Vimantal Kriti Samiti”.
Commenting on the issue, former PWP MLA Vivek Patil told this correspondent that letters have been sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and officiating civil aviation minister Ramesh Prabhu, demanding that the airport be named after Patil since he had taken initiative in development of Uran, Panvel and other areas of Raigad.
As against this the “Uran Sangharsha Samiti “(USS), apparently having allegiance to Congress, has also sent a letter to Prime minister Narendra Modi on 19 April demanding that the airport be named after senior Congress leader and former Maharashtra chief minister and Central Minister late Abdul Rehman Antulay. The letter lists out various measures initiated by Antulay.
Gopal Patil convenor of the USS Gopal Patil said that the contribution of Antulay was immense in ensuring development of Raigad. Basically, erstwhile Kolaba district was renamed as “Raigad” by Antulay, since Raigad was the capital of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Besides, memorials of freedom fighters were set up all over the state with government expenses, within short time, at his initiative. Many major projects including, RCF, Deepak Fertlisers, BPCL (bottling plant), JNPT, Bombay High offshore projects were brought in Uran and adjoining areas by Antulay in his capacity as the chief minister. As such it is in all fitness of things, the airport should be named after him, he added.
Antulay’s son-in-law Mushtaq Antulay too said that he has been instrumental in bringing in many industrial projects to Raigad, which otherwise would have gone to neighbouring states. It is the local people’s demand to name the airport after him and now it is up to the central government to consider it.
In another development the “Aadya Krantiveer Vasudev Balwant Phadke Smarak Samiti (AKVBPS) has also written to the chief minister demanding that the airport be named after veteran freedom fighter Vasudev Balwant Phadke, described as “the father of militant nationalism in India”. Phadke who was transported to jail at Aden (Yemen) by the Britishers, undertook a fast unto death and died on 17 February 1883. He was born in Shirdhon village of Panvel taluka in Raigad. The house at Shirdhon still exists but it is in a bad shape.
Jayendra Saraf, Secretary of the AKVBPS said that the Samiti has written to the chief minister requesting that the airport be named after Phadke. “ Phadke was not engaged in any land deal in the area, but the history has proved that he laid down his life for the country at young age. This itself is a testimony of his work. Finally it is up to the government, but I don’t think any lobbying should be done to recognize the service of the active and dedicated freedom fighter like Phadke”.
In the meanwhile, the maiden flight is expected to take off at the Navi Mumbai international airport by 2019 end and the government wants one runway (3.7km-long) of the airport ready by that time. As of now 40 per cent villagers have been shifted and 36% of the hill land has been levelled up. The CIDCO’s rental scheme, which provides for rent to families for 18 months—during which they are supposed to build or get new houses, has not met with success. 
CIDCO is also facing an uphill task of relocating project affected persons (PAPs) and clearing the land by flattening Ulwe hill and diverting the Ulwe river by December-end this year. A Rs 2,033-crore work order for the hill operation and diversion of river was issued on April 24, 2017, but not much work could be done, since many months were lost, first due to monsoon and then due to protests by villagers in October last. The Varshchaowle and Waghivali Wada villages, which abut a portion of the hill, are expected to be empty soon. They are two of the 10 villages in the core airport area.
Two zilla parishad schools are expected to start in the new academic year in Vadghar and Wahal, where the villagers have been given developed plots in lieu of their houses. 945 primary school students can get enrolled in the new academic session in June this year, a CIDCO spokesman said.
Uday Baviskar
4 years ago
If we are called by wrong names we get offended, why? We constantly struggle to make 'Name' why? Because its all in the name!!

These local 'sangathans' are narrow minded and must be whisked away. Local names must be reserved for local parks, roads etc. We already have list of great names in Maharashtra who have made national impact.
The Maharashtra government must have clear criteria and guidelines on naming Key structures as this.

There are many shortsighted arguments saying 'what happens by renaming because it is not followed'. These must know that people do not change in one day or few years, bad habits go slowly, and we are planning for generations. What is important is that you must strictly adhere to the new names always say it irrespective of what others say. At your level you can do this. Do not look at others they will change. Renaming is about paying the honor to that person. What is important is that we must rub out english and mughal names. We have written our own history.

Those who talk of global inconvenience out of Indian names, must go around the world and see how people have pride about their history, language and culture. In India educated people behave as West-slaved and have self inferiority. I want them to be tucked off.

Maharashtra has a list of great men who have made positive impact on the destiny of this nation, they are national figures. No state can claim this level of contribution, except Bengal.

We have lost many good architecture by naming them after Rajiv Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi. 'Sanjay Gandhi' for Mumbai's national part is the most nonsense act till date.
Rajiv Gandhi for Worli Sea Link is another.

In the state of Maharashtra, it will be fair enough choosing personality from Maharashtra.
Can choose JRD for airports like Nashik/Nanded/Aurangabad Airports.

Many people do not understand the difference between 'Sacrifice'/'Phenomenal National Service' and duty as an Administrative head. Antulay's name deserves not more than a flyover/road in Raigad district.
Many want no name but just a middle path, 'NaviMumbai Airport'.
These people are neutral and deserves no attention.

I liked the idea
'Aadyakrantikarak' Vasudev Balwant Phadke

Best choices are,

Lokmanya Tilak
Mahatma Jyotiba Phule
Homi Bhabha
Jamshetji Tata
5 years ago
The name Antulay brings to mind BIG scams. Has the Congress gone so bad that they recommend his name. Too many Pakistanis forcing their views there!
Cap India
5 years ago
Name it JRD Tata International Airport.
abdul raashid
5 years ago
Name the airport to DR APJ Abdul Kalam International Airport..... because he made India proud in the international standards
The Vadaken
5 years ago
No port, airport or institution be named after any individual's name like Gandhi, Nehru, shastri etc. The govt must change all the existing name to the place where it is located. Like IGIA be named as Newdelhi Intl Airport, Mumbai intl airport, etc. Stop the nonsense of name credit of self, person or a family. Enough! After all it is public money and not personal money.
Replied to The Vadaken comment 5 years ago
perfect idea! the same should apply to zoos & museums too :) this feudalism must come to a stop - preferably within our generation...
Bapoo Malcolm
Replied to The Vadaken comment 5 years ago
For newer airports, that is OK. Please remember that we are talking world-wide. our penchant for naming, re-naming, re-re-naming is not appreciated over the globe. New names would create havoc amongst foreign airlines and pilots. Or, Maybe, we should just remane everything and tell the foreigners where to go?
hostel life
5 years ago
I feel that the airport should be named JRD Tata International Airport pay homage to 'The Father of Indian Civil Aviation'
Sridhar Rao
Replied to hostel life comment 5 years ago
Agree. We should foster a culture of recognising pioneers instead of just politicians.
Rajesh Tiwari
5 years ago
Be it a 'Road' 'Library' 'Garden' 'Bridge' 'Market' 'Dam' 'Port' 'bus stand' 'Railway station' or any public property. It seems as if everything belongs to one and only self proclaimed Godfather family of this country. What is their contribution to this country....? I don't need to mention their 'shamfull' acts and family background as everything is available on Google. Its an unending list.
In my opinion these are the real heros of this country and all the next coming public property/projects should be named after them-
Subhashchandra Bose.
Chandrashekhar Azad.
Shaheed Bhagatsingh.
This wud be a very small tribute to their contribution to this nation who sacrifised everything including their life.

Ratilal Shah
5 years ago
I feel the New Mumbai Airport should be named after JRD Tata who launched Air India. It will be a fitting tribute to the Parsi Community for their contribution to India's development.
marketing sales
Replied to Ratilal Shah comment 5 years ago
I fully agree with you Mr Shah.It was Tatas who brought Aviation into india. And till date There no Airport. Railway station or Bus terminal named after the legendary businessman. Pls support
Suresh Koli
5 years ago
I too suggest the name as "Navi Mumbai International Airport" rather than getting into name game and getting trapped by local goons.
Shobhna Vora
5 years ago
It should be named as JRD Tata International Airport. This will be a tribute to the father of Indian Aviation sector who not only brought aviation to India but was the first pilot in a single engine plane. He repeated the same by flying the same aircraft from Karachi to Mumbai with a stop over in Ahemdabad for fuel sixty years later.
Rajat Kr Singh
5 years ago
Why only shivaji there are other great leaders after whom navi mumbai airport could bhe name.
Uday Baviskar
Replied to Rajat Kr Singh comment 4 years ago
Who is Shivaji?
We name after 'Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj'.
Uday Baviskar
Replied to Uday Baviskar comment 4 years ago
But I agree, we must choose other great men/women
Rajesh Kumar Misra
5 years ago
Correction... Why can't we honour them by naming the Navigation Mumbai airport after one of these martyres.
Rajesh Kumar Misra
5 years ago
We are still hankering after the historical heroes or freedom fighters or politicians. This is nothing but vote bank politics by political parties of various hues. Enough is enough. There are many brave heroes (belonging to Maharashtra itself) from our defence forces who have sacrificed their lives for the country exhibiting examplary bravery. It is high time to remember them and also pay respect to them. Why can't we honour the Navi Mumbai airport after one of these martyres.
It is high time we start this trend.
Navil Kumana
5 years ago
JRD TATA is the one who should be accredited for his contribution to the aviation industry in India.

He has managed AIR INDIA as a profitable airlines in his times but unfortunately politics took over from him to make a loss incurring unit today..

He should be honoured by naming the airport on his name.

TATA family has done a lot for nation after all.
Suhas Sheware
5 years ago
Why not name it simple as The Navi Mumbai International Airport rather than getting into naming it after someone which creates controversies in one another
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