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HC's 1st Task for Scindia as Aviation Min: Frame Policy on Airport Naming

Jyotiraditya Scindia was assigned charge of the Ministry of Civil Aviation on Wednesday, 7 July.

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India
2 min read
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Newly sworn-in Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia was reportedly on Friday, 9 July, handed his first task by Bombay High Court. As per media reports, the court told Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh to ask the new aviation minister to formulate a nationwide policy for the naming and renaming of airports.

According to news agency PTI, a bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and GS Kulkarni said:

"If there is a new policy still in the draft stage, get it done now. You have a new set of ministers now. Let this be the work of the new aviation ministry. It should be the first task of the new aviation minister."

After the mega overhaul of PM Narendra Modi's Council of Ministers on Wednesday, Jyotiraditya Scindia was given charge of the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

WHAT ELSE DID HC SAY?

The bench further stated that it would not allow instances such as the one in June when 25,000 people had organised a rally in Navi Mumbai in defiance of COVID protocols to demand that an upcoming airport be named after a local leader who fought for the rights of Project Affected People.

"Over this issue of naming (of airports), we took the state government to task last month as there was a gathering violating COVID-19 protocols with nearly 25000 people. Why should we allow this?"
Bombay High Court

Further, noting that a draft policy had been formulated in 2016 for the naming of airports, the HC asked: "We would like to know the present position of draft policy?"

THE PIL

The bench was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking:

  • Directions to the Centre to frame a uniform policy for naming and renaming of airports

  • Directions to the Centre to not act upon proposals sent by state governments for naming airports, including the one coming up at Navi Mumbai, until a policy is framed

The PIL has been filed by lawyer Filji Frederick, according to PTI.

Posting the matter for further hearing on 16 July, the HC also asked ASG Singh to take instructions on the issue.

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THE NAVI MUMBAI PROTEST

Many members of local communities along with some politicians gathered en masse to stage a protest against the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) in Navi Mumbai on Thursday, 24 June, demanding that the the upcoming international airport there be named after late socialist leader DB Patil.

Further, the protesters asked the corporation to nix its proposal to name the airport Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray.

They threatened to stop the airport construction work if their demand was not met and the airport was not named after Patil by 15 August.

A delegation of the protesters also later went to meet CIDCO’s managing director and submit their written demand.

Even though local leaders had earlier given a call to “gherao” the CIDCO Bhavan at CBD Belapur, the protesters were stopped a kilometre away from the building and the road was barricaded heavily.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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