Goa

Goa will be finished if Mopa airport is built: Alemao

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Goa Public Works Department (PWD) minister Churchill Alemao has alleged that few high-profile politicians and businessmen have plans for hotels and resorts in Konkan belt and hence are pitching for Mopa international airport.

“I had realised this game plan long back and I wonder how come other leaders don’t realise it. Goa will be finished, if Mopa airport is built,” Alemao, who had earlier led agitation against proposed Greenfield airport at Mopa, said.

“If Mopa airport materialises, Dabolim will be closed. And if that happens, Goa’s economy will be doldrums,” he said.

Mopa airport is proposed right on Goa-Maharashtra border in North District, dotting Konkan belt, which shares the coastline with Goa.

“The entire game plan behind Mopa airport is to develop Konkan belt as a tourist spot. This will adversely affect Goa’s economy which is largely dependent on tourism.

The tour operators will take the guests to Konkan although they would be wooed in the name of Goa,” the minister said.

Churchill Alemao

Alemao, a Congress legislator, had floated his own outfit Save Goa Front (SGF) breaking away from the party during 2007 Goa Legislative Assembly elections and later joined the Congress.

The SGF, which had opposition to Mopa airport as prime on its agenda, could not make much dent in Goa’s politics.

He said that the Konkan belt has scenic coastline which runs through places like Deogad, Malwan and others.

“Once Mopa is operational, Dabolim airport will be closed. No tourist will come to South Goa as they will have to travel such a long distance,” Alemao feared.

The minister said that during his recent meeting with United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, he had raised the issue with a request that Dabolim airport should be expanded on priority.

“Why do we require two airports, if Dabolim is expanded?” he questioned.

He said that few legislators who were earlier opposing his stand have now started realising that Mopa is detrimental to the tourism industry of Goa

Courtesy: Zee News

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