Chief minister Manohar Parrikar has said that Congress spokesman Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco instead of making "baseless allegations" on land acquisition for Dabolim airport, should get from prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh the 8,000- odd sq m land from the Navy for Dabolim airport expansion.
He said the controversial land Reginaldo has been raking up these days, is around 600 metres from the airport and was not suitable for parking there. "Who will park their vehicles that far? Has anyone seen the land?,he retorted when asked about the issue.
He said there were doubts of kickbacks going by the manner in which the last government dealt with the issue. By a cabinet decision of the Digambar Kamat-ministry, part of the land which was earlier meant for parking in Dabolim, went back to the owner, Bernard Costa.
Talking to STOI on the issue, Parrikar said the owner has a point – that central agencies ask for land but don't utilize it. There are so many such cases in Goa, he said adding that Reginaldo should go to the PM and get the land from the Navy. "With that the problem would be solved," he added.
The chief minister, said, if at all it is required, the land in question would be acquired. "I will not be pressurized by anyone," he said.
On the new airport, he said the government is going ahead with the Mopa international airport. He stressed that for the development of Goa, both the airports are needed. "In five years time, if we don't have both the airports, then forget about Goa," he said implying that the state would not be able to handle its air traffic. Stating that there is congestion at Dabolim, he said there is no room for further expansion and hence the need for Mopa. "Both will be there," he emphasized.
"You want to close down mines, you want to close down this… Then how will the economy grow?" asked the CM. [TOI]