CM-led Mopa committee submits report to PM, favours new airport

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Panaji, Jul 14 (UNI) A high-level committee, headed by Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat, today submitted its report on Mopa Airport to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at New Delhi, recommending construction of a greenfield international airport at Mopa in North Goa.

The Committee also urged the Prime Minister to review the Union Cabinet's earlier decision that the existing airport at Dabolim in South Goa be closed upon commissioning of the Mopa Airport.

Mr Kamat was accompanied by other members of the committee, including Shantaram Naik, Francisco Sardinha, MP Sripad Naik and Chief Secretary J P Singh.

The Committee, appointed by the Prime Minister himself, also presented a copy of the report to Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, who assured the Committee members of getting the expansion work at Dabolim Airport expedited, besides initiating the process of constructing the airport at Mopa at the earliest.

It may be recalled that the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation had, at the instance of the Prime Minister, constituted a committee, to look into all aspect of a new airport at Mopa and also advise the Government of India on the necessity of either continuing or closing the current airport at Dabolim.

Jt Secretary of the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation was the Member Secretary of the Committee.

The Committee, in its report, had recommended that the Dabolim Airport should continue to operate even after the operationalisation of the Mopa airport. The expansion and upgradation of Dabolim Airport should be continued and completed as scheduled.

The Committee also recommended that mutation cases with respect to land at Dabolim, other than the land acquired by the government for Navy, be reviewed as per the provisions of the Goa Land Revenue Code, 1968, and that the Ministry would be requested to ensure that appropriate land be made available for upgradation of international airport at Dabolim.

The Committee also expressed concern regarding the construction of a large number of residential quarters for people other than employees and officers posted in Goa and recommended that the Civil Aviation as also Defence Ministries should address the concern of the committee.

Regarding the modalities for construction of a new international airport at Mopa, it was recommended that Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airport Authority of India (AAI) should make available all the relevant documents relating to the construction of greenfield airport at Hyderabad, Bangalore, Navi Mumbai and Noida to the Government of Goa to study and analyse in order to help Goa government to adopt the best model.

The Committee has also favoured construction of a six-lane approach road connecting to National Highway no 17 at Dhargal.

UNI BM SSS PDT ND2256

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