With his eyes firmly set on the Lok Sabha elections in the near future, former member of Parliament (MP) Churchill Alemao on Wednesday raised the issue of the Mopa airport once again.
This time around, he has "warned" the chief minister of having to deal with "great losses to the tourism industry" if the airport in Goa's northernmost taluka becomes a reality.
Demanding that the government clarify its stance on the issue, the former Navelim MLA told reporters that the state should get a clarification from the central aviation ministry regarding the future of Dabolim airport if there are to be two airports in Goa.
Stressing that he was raiing the issue "as a citizen of Goa", the former PWD minister claimed that similar assurances (of two airports) were given to the people of Bangalore too, "but in the end there is only one airport now".
He then dared his likely opponent for the Congress Lok Sabha ticket from South Goa, current MP Francisco Sardinha, to ask the people of Bangalore if they are happy about one airport being forced to shut down.
Continuing to suggest that Sardinha was past his prime, Alemao asked him to get the letter from the civil aviation minister.
"People should realize that once work on the new airport, which borders Maharashtra, begins, this centrally-located airport at Dabolim, which is equidistant for people from Canacona to Valpoi, will be forced to shut down, as the Navy is giving us slots to use this airport only because it is Goa's sole airport," charged Alemao.
He urged the CM to "think the matter through" to "avoid a scenario like the present where the state is suffering due to the negative impact the ban on mining is having".
He told reporters he had raised the Mopa issue with the erstwhile government too and has made his opposition to airport known within the Congress party too.
He further said he would support any people's movement, launched by anyone, if it was aimed at saving the Dabolim airport.
Asked who he thought the Congress would back to contest the LS seat from South Goa, Alemao said if the party wanted to give him a ticket they would, if not he would take the necessary decisions at the appropriate time. [TOI]