Monday, May 15, 2006

Mopa airport may never take off

Panaji: Though the state government has not actually said so, it seems to have developed cold feet about going ahead with the proposed international airport at Mopa. It has decided to upgrade the existing airport at Dabolim instead and work here will start next week.
Minister for Civil Aviation Praful Patel has asked the Airport Authority of India and other concerned agencies to start work.
Deputy Chief Minister Wilfred de Souza, who had a meeting with Patel in Delhi, says that as soon as the navy hands over the nine acres of land, the expansion of the airport will begin.
The AAI will also build a new terminal on the northern side and will have four aero bridges. De Souza said that contrary to reports, the navy has not asked for any reciprocal land in exchange for the nine acres it is giving for the expansion in Dabolim.
The second nail in Mopa’s coffin came last week when the government failed to approve the award for the first notification for the acquisition of 54 lakh square metres of land for the Mopa project. Earlier two other processes for the acquisition of 18 lakh square metres (additional land for the project) and 14 lakh square metres (for approach roads) also had lapsed as no notification was issued by the government as required under the Land Acquisition Act.
14/05/06 Pushpa Iyengar/Daily News & Analysis
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