Wednesday, October 26, 2016

An airport at Mopa cannot be a political decision

The Mopa Vimantal Pidit Xetkari Samiti (MVPXS), in a statement to the media, said that the villagers of Varconda, Casarvanem, Chandel, Amberem, Uguem and Mopa, whose land is being acquired by the government for the new airport, have rejected the offer of increased compensation. The samiti said that their members are not prepared to give up their land as the plateau needs to be protected from real estate speculators and other destructive forces so that it can be handed over to future generations in the condition it was received by the present generation.
The samiti, in its statement, has used strong language as it argues on the demerits of a new airport in general and in this location in particular. Besides stating that the land in question is a unique plateau that needs to be conserved, and stressing on the displacement of people living there that the airport will cause, the samiti calls the project ‘ill-advised and economically unfeasible’. It doesn’t stop at that. It terms the decision of building a ‘superfluous airport’ on the land as ‘arbitrary’ that is only for ‘short-term profits of a few from land speculation’ and asks that it be scrapped.
What the samiti has said in its latest release is a reiteration of what environmentalists and others have been saying over the past few years since the idea of a second airport at Mopa was first proposed. That the new airport will be economically unfeasible is a very real fear as the government continues to insist that commercial operations at the Dabolim airport will not be stopped once the Mopa airport is thrown open. In such a scenario, where two airports will exist in the State that has a population of 1.5 million, the government would be advised to conduct another study on the financial viability of the new airport proposed at Mopa.
26/10/16 Herald