Panaji, Mar 17: Notwithstanding the Goa government's claim that land was not alloted on permanent basis for the Def Expo and Aero India, papers tabled on the floor of the House here reveal that the state has already passed a resolution to give the land in Quittol (Betul) on permanent basis to host the two mega events.
"Goa government-run Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in its 344th board meeting held on July 15, 2015 had resolved to grant in-principle approval for allotment of 150 acres of land at Quittol for organising Def Expo and Aero (India) show on permanent basis," read a letter written by IDC Managing Director S V Naik to the Department of Defence Procurement of the Defence Ministry.
State Industries Minister Mahadev Naik tabled these documents on the floor of the House in response to a question by Congress legislator Chandrakant Kavlekar. Certain sections of the society are opposed to Quittol (Betul) as a permanent venue for the Def Expo and Aero India shows.
Earlier, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar had said that the land was not allowed on permanent basis to the Defence Ministry for the purpose. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in a letter to Parsekar had requested to allot land in Goa for the Def Expo and Aero India shows.
"Since starting of these shows, Aero India happens to be in Bengaluru and Def Expo in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. As the shows have grown significantly in the past few years, the present venues have become relatively unviable for smooth conduct of the shows due to a variety of reasons such as congestion around the venue, poor access, disturbances in functioning of Bengaluru airport etc," Parrikar said.
"As far as venue for Def Expo is concerned Pragati Maidan is under major renovation, and therefore, perhaps would not be available also," he said.
"To look out for alternative venues for Aero India, a Committee was set up by this Ministry in the past and the committee, after going through all the merits and demerits, had recommended Goa as the most suitable venue for Aero India.
Goa being a popular tourist destination has an added advantage for hosting such show," the letter said.
"In view of the above, Government of Goa may consider allotment of about 150 acres of land on the coastline which can accommodate 10,000 feet runway along the coast, so that a permanent venue for conducting Def Expo and Aero (India) Show can be set up," Parrikar said.
The Def Expo would be held from March 28-31 in Goa.