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The Times of India, January 22, 1996

The Name-Changers: To The Editor of The Times of India

Sir,- I was surprised to read your news item (January 17) that the government is thinking of changing the name of Marine Lines to Sonapur.

I would like to throw some light on how Marine Lines got its name. 10 Marine Battalion of the Bombay Pioneers was stationed at this location during the mid 19th century where they had built their 'Lines'. This Battalion was composed of Indian troops led by British Officers. It was famous for the large number of battle honours it had won in India and abroad. I forget when exactly it was disbanded but it is a historical fact that in the twenties, when the Bombay Pioneers were disbanded, the troops were assimilated into the Bombay Engineer Group (BEG), Pune. I believe the colours of the Bombay Pioneer Battalions now rest in the BEG museum.

As a Bombay Sapper I object to the renaming which amounts to showing disrespect to our predecessors, most of whom were Indians and Maharashtrians.

Col. Vivek Bopiah (Retd.)