Monday 10 December 2018

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Infrastructure | Ports

Centre grants EC to Mopa airport, work to begin by July?

 

The controversial Mopa airport finally got the much awaited environmental clearance today from the centre.

“A serious hurdle is cleared with this permission. Now Mopa is not too far”, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, also the MLA from Pernem taluka, told goanews.com.

The initial proposal for the Mopa airport was cleared by the central government in March 2001, almost 14 years ago.

A meeting of Ministry of Environment and Forests, chaired by MoEF minister Prakash Jawadekar, today finally decided to give the EC to the Greenfield airport project, coming up in eastern Pernem.

The project, located on the Northern border of Goa, is vehemently opposed by the South Goa, especially by Salcete taluka, where most of the five star hotels are situated.

On the other hand, the people of Pernem and especially the coastal belt of Mandrem – the CM’s constituency – looks at the Mopa airport as a stepping stone for tourism development along the coastline of the border taluka.

The meeting was attended by Goa chief secretary R K Srivastava and civil aviation director S Shanbogue.

“They replied satisfactorily to all the queries raised by the ministry officials and other functionaries of MoEF, said Parsekar.

The meeting, which started today morning, prolonged for almost three hours, deliberating upon all the issues and objections raised by several organisations etc.

The CM now plans to put before the cabinet this week or the next the five Request For Proposals qualified for the greenfield airport.

It includes Airports Authority of India, GVK, GMR and Essel Infra.

The government would then seek proposals from them within 90 days, after which a final decision regarding the developer would be taken.

“The work order would hopefully be issued by April next year and the actual work should begin by July next year”, said CM Parsekar.

The Mopa airport, much bigger than the existing Dabolim airport, would be completed in four stages.

In the first stage, it would be equipped to handle around 44 lakh passengers annually.

After the final stage, it would be capable of handling not less than 1.30 crore passengers. 






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