Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar may have ignored the demands of Goemkar to stop all work on the Mopa airport by giving the go-ahead signal to acquire 22.63 lakh square metres of land for the proposed airport.
But, the chief minister will certainly have to listen those legislators supporting the BJP-led government on Dabolim’s future and its requirements. Be it Fisheries Minister, Avertano Furtado or his Velim counterpart Benjamin D”Silva or Goa Vikas Party supremo Mickky Pacheco, they have disclosed plans to seek report on the status of Dabolim airport vis-à-vis Mopa.
Says Furtado: “We are all for Dabolim airport and its continuance as an international airport. There cannot be any compromise. As far as Mopa airport is concerned, we will ask the chief minister to brief us on the government stand regarding the proposed airport”.
Furtado says he has spoken to the Velim MLA and both intend to call on the chief minister to seek clarity of the government’s stand on the issue in the light of allegations raised in certain quarters.
Echoing similar sentiments, Benjamin said there cannot be any compromise on the Dabolim airport. “The chief minister has already made his stand clear on Dabolim. Still, we will meet him seek certain clarification on Mopa airport”, he added.
Goa Vikas Party chief Mickky Pacheco said the government should come out with a feasibility study on the two airports. “Goa is a small state. I don’t understand how two airports can be feasible in the state”, he said, while disclosing plans to raise the issue in the forthcoming session of the Goa legislative assembly.
“The Chief Minister said Mopa will be utilized for cargo handling. But, we should know how much cargo will be generated, its tonnage and other aspects”, he said.
Pacheco, however, questioned Goemkar’s stand on the airport issue, as he took pot shots at Vijai Sardessai for his silence on the issue when the Congress pursued Mopa airport and de-notified land for Dabolim airport parking.
Meanwhile, Goemkar convenor Sardessai has said the organization will soon move in the villages in support of Dabolim as Goa’s lone airport and its infrastructural requirements. “We will mobilize people at the village and constituency level, who will question their respective MLAs to unveil their stand on Dabolim and Mopa”, he added. [H]