Friday, May 20, 2016

Navi Mumbai Airport, for a change name it after Gateway

by Soumen Mukherjee

When social media in India (not sure of real India) is busy debating naming and re-naming of public infrastructures and national assets, it is time to try to make it a constructive debate with unconventional ideas in this blog. It is debatable how it is ethical to re-name existing infrastructures and the mass acceptance of given new name for example how many people use Rabindra Setu for Howrah Bridge or Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road for Marine Drive. Rather it is good to have new ones constructed and name those according to popular or political choices.
 Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, primary airport of Mumbai is already congested and nearing saturation point and the government is proposing another airport in the greater Mumbai region. The greenfield airport coming up in Navi Mumbai therefore is an eligible candidate to have Naamkaran Sanskar as it is better to name the new infrastructure from the day one to avoid any potential confusion in re-naming it later. General norm is to have airports named after eminent personalities like freedom fighters, political leaders, kings or even religious leaders. For a change how it would be to have the upcoming airport in Navi Mumbai named after an iconic monument, the Gateway of India, served as the landmark of Mumbai for the longest period of time.

Naming airports after popular landmark is not something unheard of, one of the busiest airports in New York is named after the Statue of Liberty. Newark International Airport in the greater New York region was renamed Newark Liberty International Airport in 2002 to pay tributes to the 9/11 victims and the spirit of New York city. Like Statue of Liberty in New York Gateway of India in Mumbai serves as the primary landmark of the city and the structure was erected to commemorate the arrival of King George V (considered to be an esteemed 'guest' of India) in India in 1911 at the exact same place in. A Gateway represents entry point and for the longest period of time Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (then used to known as Santacruz Airport) served as the primary entry point into India as it used to handle most of the international passengers to and from the country. As CSIA is nearing saturation point, the new upcoming airport is expected to handle even larger share of international passengers in the near future and to welcome all the guests it can not have a better name than Mumbai-Gateway International AirportIn fact the city side super structure of the terminal building can incorporate some of the prominent architectural features of Gateway of India.

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