Renaming of airport to cost Taka 1400 crore : Colossal wastage of poor people’s money

February 24, 2010

The renaming of the Zia International Airport as Shah Jalal International Airport was performed on Monday by putting up printed banners on the entrance and departure sides of the main terminal building, but the entire process of change would reportedly cost the exchequer Taka 1400 crore .
The process of name changing would involve not merely replacement of the large neon signs at the Dhaka airport, Zia’s name would have to be removed from neon signs and sign boards, both painted and electronic, in airports all over the world, informed sources claimed.
A top functionary of the government told newsmen the step to change the name was taken to teach BNP a lesson because the immediate past BNP government had changed the name of the ‘Bangabandhu Bridge’ and the ‘Bangabandhu International Conference Centre’.
A senior adviser to the Prime Minister however, also said that the action was in line with the recent declaration by a High Court Division bench of the 5th Amendment of the Constitution and the martial law rule led by late President Ziaur Rahman as illegal.
Zia’s name had been there for the last three decades. The airport was completed during Zia’s rule and after his tragic assassination in May 1981 it was named after him by President Justice Abdus Sattar who opened it to air traffic. Construction of the airport did start during the Pakistan period.
About the claim that the last BNP regime had changed institutions’ names after Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, senior BNP leaders said during their tenure they had retained the name with many institutions like the Bangabandhu National Stadium, Bangabandhu Medical University, among others.
Civil Aviation sources, who control the operation of the airport, have been quoted by a pro-government vernacular daily to have said that the entire name changing process would cost Taka 1400 crore.
The sad part about the episode is that the name would certainly reappear once the BNP comes back to power. And the practice of naming and changing names is not only making the nation a laughing stock to foreigners but also involve, crores of Taka of money of the people 40 per cent of whom are poor living on less than one Dollar a day.
It’s time that the political leaders give up intolerance and attitude of vengeance to keep the state functioning smoothly and ensure rapid economic development by restoring confidence in the minds of investors.

Courtesy of The New Nation

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