Special Correspondent

It submits report to the Prime Minister

PANAJI: The high power committee on Goa airport headed by Chief Minister Digambar Kamat submitted its report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Monday, recommending construction of a green-field international airport at Mopa village in Pernem taluk of north Goa.

New airport

The Ministry of Civil Aviation had, at the instance of the Prime Minister, constituted the high power committee to look into all aspects of a new airport at Mopa and advise the Union Government on the necessity of either continuing or closing the international airport at Dabolim in south Goa.

The committee was set up a couple of years ago after the then ruling Congress in Goa was found divided over the issue of construction of a new airport in the State.

Objection

Some leaders objected to the moves of closing the international airport at Dabolim in south Goa after commissioning of the Mopa airport.

The Dabolim airport comes under Naval jurisdiction, but is used simultaneously for civilian purposes.

MP Shantaram Naik, who is a member of the committee, told The Hindu on Monday that the committee had recommended that the earlier decision of the Union Cabinet seeking closure of the Dabolim airport on commissioning of the Mopa airport be reviewed.

The committee, in its report, had recommended that the Dabolim airport should continue to operate even after the operationalisation of the airport at Mopa.

Expansion

The expansion of Dabolim airport should be continued and completed as scheduled.

Apart from Mr. Naik, Francisco Sardinha, south Goa MP, Sripad Naik, north Goa MP, and Chief Secretary J.P. Singh accompanied the Chief Minister.

The committee members also met the Union Civil Aviation Minister, Prafulla Patel, and submitted a copy of the report.

The Minister assured the committee members of getting the work of expansion of the Dabolim airport expedited.

Promise

The Union Minister promised them that the process of constructing Mopa airport would be taken up at the earliest, Mr. Naik said.

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

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