Another U-turn by Parrikar, says Curtorim MLA

MARGAO: Congress party spokesperson Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco accused chief minister of taking another 'U-turn' on policy matters concerning Goa and Goans, for not having intervened in the denotification of land acquired for parking at Dabolim, despite having spoken against it when he was the leader of the opposition.

Addressing mediapersons on Saturday, Lourenco accused Parrikar of fooling Goans on Dabolim, and demanded a white paper on Dabolim, which would in turn bring to light that two airports in Goa would not be feasible.

The Curtorim MLA alleged that the reason behind Parrikar turning a blind eye to the de-notification of the land (which would have been crucial for the airports' expansion plan) was due to the chief minister sharing a 'cozy relationship' with the real estate developer who now has possession of the land de-notified . "As a politician, I can understand Parrikar's dilemma; he might desperately need the good company of this particular big businessman, because within a year the 2014 general Lok Sabha elections will be held," said Lourenco.

He added that the annual operational cost of Dabolim airport is 30 crore, and that the projected operational cost of Mopa airport will be more than 1,000 core each year, and that the burden will cause the increase of the cost of tickets.

"The Amman & Whitney report (infrastructure consultant) states that Mopa will handle 20 million people. The report also says that by 2020, the expansion of the entire Dabolim airport can handle 20 million passengers. The report further adds that by 2020, between 10-12 million passengers would be arriving in Goa by flight," said Lourenco.

Lourenco further pointed out that the ICAO feasibility study had clearly stated that the dual airport was not the best option for Goa, and that the ministry of civil aviation in consultation with the airport authority of India had already sanctioned 500 crore for the expansion of Dabolim aiport. [TOI]