“The matter was discussed at the meeting of the Environment Ministry on January 28. There are further studies which are still required and they would be taken now,” Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told the Assembly.
Independent legislator Vijay Sardesai had raised the issue of environment clearance to the airport at Mopa, about 70 km from here.
The MLA, who heads the movement involving locals against the airport, claimed that various preconditions suggested by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) had been ignored by the Goa government which appears in a hurry to go ahead with the project.
“ICAO had suggested that a comprehensive strategy should be put in place before going ahead with the project as another airport already exists in the state,” Sardesai said.
The Chief Minister, quoting an ICAO report published in 2007, said there was a need to have two airports in Goa as the existing one at Dabolim would get saturated due to increasing flow of passenger traffic in the tourist state.
Parrikar rejected the notion that Mopa airport would benefit Maharashtra, more than Goa, due to its close proximity with the neighbouring state.
“The airport is 25 kms away from Maharashtra border,” he said and requested the Assembly Speaker to allow half an hour debate on the issue so that “Goa Government’s stand on the issue can be clarified”.
SOURCE: THE ECONOMIC TIMES