West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday named the upcoming airport at Andal near Durgapur in Bardhman, some 100-odd km from the city, as Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport.

Nazrul Islam, a Bengali poet is popularly known as ‘bidrohi kobi’ (rebel poet). He was born in Churulia village in the same district (of Bardhaman) that the airport is coming up.

Kazi Nazrul Islam later migrated to Bangladesh in 1972. Nazrul Islam is officially recognised as the national poet of Bangladesh and commemorated in India.

Nazrul Islam’s grandsons — Kazi Arindam and Kazi Anirban — and their mother Kalyani Kazi were also present on today's occasion.

The upcoming Greenfield airport at Andal is being executed by Bengal Aerotropolis Projects Ltd with the State Government-run West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) having a minority stake.

Apart from WBIDC, other joint venture partners in the project include Singapore’s Changi Airports, IL&FS, Citystar Infrastructure, Lend Lease Co, Pragati 47 and Pragati Social Infrastructure & Development Ltd.

BAPL on its part has already inked a memorandum of understanding with Pawan Hans Ltd to introduce helicopter services between Kolkata and Durgapur.

Apart from the airport, the aerotropolis project also includes a township, called Sujalaam Sky City, complete with a hospital and business centre.

abhishek.l@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on September 19, 2013)
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