The civil aviation ministry has kept the renaming of the Mumbai international airport on hold.
Mumbai: The civil aviation ministry has put on hold the state Assembly’s proposal to add ‘Maharaj’ to the name, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. The demand has been pending since long with the ministry. Two years ago, the word ‘Maharaj’ was added to the name of the Mumbai railway terminus, earlier called Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.
The ministry in its remarks said that it had formulated draft policy guidelines on naming/renaming of airports which inter-alia proposed to keep the names of existing airports unchanged.
As the decision on renaming of the Mumbai airport depended on finalisation of the policy which involved consultation at various levels, the exact time to rename the Mumbai airport could not be ascertained at this stage.
BJP MP Chhatrapati Sambhaji, who is the direct descendant of Shivaji Maharaj, raised the issue in parliament and asked for more time to rename the airport. However, he was not assured a time frame within which the name would be changed. “I had raised the issue in parliament and amstill pursuing the matter. I will have to check the present status now,” he said.
The addition of ‘Maharaj’ was insisted upon to pay respect to the 17th century Maratha warrior king. The government had said that announcements made at the station and the airport were a tad objectionable as they did not mention the word ‘Maharaj’. After a resolution was passed unanimously in the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, the railway ministry added ‘Maharaj’ to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. However, the airport name change is still pending.
The state Cabinet in 2016 had decided to rename the city airport and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) in order to add the honorific ‘Maharaj’ to the name. So the new names will now be Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT).