Prakash Kamat , The Hindu
The movement against a second airport for Goa, proposed to come up at Mopa in north Goa, has announced its plans to go back to the villages to convince people through awareness drive that the tiny State does not need a second airport.
Addressing a press conference in the city on Tuesday, Fr. Ermito Rebello, who is spearheading the Goans for Dabolim Only (GFDO) movement, reiterated the charge that the proposed Mopa airport for which the State Government is acquiring over 84 lakh sq. m of land is a massive land scam.
He said Goa must continue with an expanded, existing Dabolim International airport.
Referring to the recent State Government decision to requisition qualification for contractors, Fr. Ermito said, “While the Goa government continues to fool the people by saying that Mopa airport is necessary and feasible, its latest Cabinet decision to gift 381 acres of land under acquisition to the future airport developer for commercial use at 4 FAR proves us right — that the proposed airport is nothing but a massive land scam.”
Referring to reports of the feasibility studies conducted by professional bodies regarding the proposed Mopa airport taking into consideration that Dabolim airport too will continue with civilian traffic, Fr. Ermito said that for two airports to be feasible, the traffic has to go up to 24 million. At present, Goa has 4 million passenger traffic and by 2035, it is projected to go up to around 9 million.
The Chief Minister has been insisting that the international tourist destination of Goa needs a second airport as the present airport is getting congested already. He has assured the people that the Dabolim airport will continue to be used for civilian traffic even after Mopa airport is made operational.