PM assures CM on Dabolim airport retention issue

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Panaji, Sep 10 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has assured chief minister Digambar Kamat that he would abide by the promise he made to the state for retention of the existing airport at Dabolim even after launch of the greenfield international airport at Mopa in north Goa.

Necessary amendment to the Central Cabinet Resolution to this effect would be made at an appropriate time, Dr Singh told Kamat when the latter called on him yesterday in New Delhi.

Informing this to mediapersons here today after his return, Mr Kamat said Union civil aviation minister Praful Patel was also expected to lay the corner stone for the Dabolim expansion works next month immediately after the Airport Authority of India begins the tendering process for Rs 500 crore works.

The process, he said, would begin immediately after the Public Investment Board (PIB) cleared the proposal. The AAI had forwarded certain clarifications to the queries of the PIB in this regard.

Kamat also debunked reports, in a section of the media, that the PIB had not quashed the expansion works, saying it had only sought some clarifications on technical issues related to the expansion works.

Mr Patel would visit Goa on the mission along with attending to two other airport works in South India including the one at Chennai.

Kamat had also interacted with Mr Patel in this regard in Delhi amid fears that Dabolim would be closed after Mopa comes into existance.

The civil aviation ministry would sort out issues with the defence ministry regarding problems arising out of delay in handing over land by the Navy to the AAI to facilitate expansion works and laying of the second taxi track, he said.

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