Goa Govt gives go ahead for new greenfield airport
The construction of new greenfield airport in Goa got impetus on Friday with the state chief minister Digambar Kamat-led committee deciding to give go ahead for the controversial project.
The committee, this afternoon, recommended to expedite the land acquisition process for the greenfield airport at Mopa in north Goa, bordering Goa-Maharashtra.
"It was recommended to proceed for the land acquisition proceedings for the airport and complete the project expediously," Goa's lone Rajya Sabha member Shantaram Naik, who is also a committee member, told reporters in Panaji.
Mopa airport, planned in the northermost border of Goa, had met stringent opposition by the South Goa politicians including then Member of Parliament and current state minister Churchill Alemao.
Anti-Mopa lobby feared that the new airport will benefit neighbouring Maharashtra more than Goa. The concerns were also raised that the Dabolim airport will be closed once Mopa gets operational.
The project on Friday got go ahead from the committee constituted as per the recommendation of prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh.
Goa, which is increasingly developing as a tourist destination, is getting its lone dabolim airport congested with the increase in the air traffic.
This had forced the need to have another airport as existing Dabolim airport also serves as a naval base. The plans for expanding the existing airport also have met uncertainity due to incomplete land transfer proceedings from Indian Navy to Airport Authority of India (AAI).
The committee also recommended that the central government should review its March 29, 2001 decision to close the existing Dabolim airport once Mopa is operational.
Naik said the committee also decided to review all cases of mutation with respect of land occupied by Indian Navy.