Union Cabinet approves the renaming of Greenfield Airport at Hollongi, Itanagar as ‘Donyi Polo Airport, Itanagar’.
Amidst protest against the renaming of the soon-to-be-inaugurated airport as 'Donyi Polo Airport, Hollongi' instead of 'Donyi Polo Airport, Itanagar’, the Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the naming of Greenfield Airport at Hollongi, Itanagar as “Donyi Polo Airport, Itanagar”.
The Resolution was passed by the State Government of Arunachal Pradesh to name the airport ‘Donyi Polo Airport, Itanagar’, which reflects the people’s reverence of the Sun (Donyi) and the Moon (Polo), and symbolises the rich cultural heritage of the state.
The Donyi Polo Airport, Itanagar is being developed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) with assistance from the Central Government and the State Government of Arunachal Pradesh.
Currently there are two operational airports in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, one in Pasighat and the other one in Tezu. With the official inauguration of the Donyi Polo Airport, Itanagar, there will be in total three operational airports in the state and 16 in the North East region.
According to the PIB, there were in nine operational airports till the year 2014 in the region and that aircraft movements in the region have increased by 113%, from 852 per week in the year 2014 to 1817 per week in 2022.
The Government of India had given its "in-principle" approval for the construction of the Hollongi Greenfield Airport back in January 2019.
This came after a long pending demand of the people of Arunachal Pradesh and in line with the Prime Minister Modi's vision of developing the North-East region as the growth engine of India.
Earlier, on October 29, the Hollongi Indigenous People's Forum in a press briefing stated that they stand firm by their demand for renaming the 'Donyi Polo Airport, Itanagar' as 'Donyi Polo Airport, Hollongi.'
The Chairman of Hollongi Indigenous People's Forum, Taba Puna Tara highlighted the historical importance of Hollongi and thereby stated why the name should be 'Hollongi' and not 'Itanagar'.
"The name Hollongi has been there since the time of NEFA, it was never Itanagar," said Chairman Tara.
He also said that he has no issues regarding the name 'Donyi Polo' but they have issues with the place name i.e., Itanagar instead of using Hollongi.
According to the forum, Hollongi falls under the Doimukh Constituency rather than the Itanagar constituency hence it is a genuine demand and that the state government should reconsider their decision.
Further, the chairman of Hollongi Indigenous People's Forum, Tana Puna Tara requests the CM, Pema Khandu to meet them and have a one to one discussion regarding the same.
He further said that they have been fighting for this for months now and keeping in mind the sentiments of the people of Hollongi, the CM should at least meet them once.
HIPF Chairman, Tara lastly declared 'Bandh Call' on November 7 and 8, 2022 if the demands are not fulfilled.