Karnataka

CSJP seeks reassessment of Mopa airport project in Goa

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Council for Social Justice and Peace (CSJP), Church-affiliated body, has demanded that the Goa government reassess the Mopa International Airport project in the light of a comprehensive Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) for its just need and feasibility for the State.

The demand becomes significance in view of the fact that the new Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar happens to be from Pernem in north Goa, the taluk where the project is slated to come up.

Moreover, on Friday, just on the eve of relinquishing Chief Minister’s post, Manohar Parrikar, who is expected to join the Union Cabinet on Sunday, had reiterated his support for the Mopa airport stating that though he will see that the existing Dabolim airport will continue for civilian use, it had become saturated and does not meet the rising demands of the tourist State.

The Church-affiliated body lambasted the successive governments in the State for their insistence to push through the proposal for another airport at Mopa in a non-scientific and non-transparent manner,

disregarding wide socio-economic and environmental implications of such a monumental project. The way the issue has been dealt with over the years, without serious efforts to address various relevant concerns raised by several sections of the society about this project, has led to an undesirable division among the people of our State, said the CSJP.

Recalling that since 2005, the CSJP has been closely studying this project and is distressed to see how successive governments are insisting on going ahead with it, without having an EIA. The CSJP has stated that this airport will irreversibly devastate this ‘ecologically fragile land’, clearly indicated as an eco-sensitive zone.

Stating that Goa’s major land has been used up by mining, railways, highways and mega construction projects, the CSJP said that Goa certainly does not have the carrying capacity for two

international airports.

It blamed the government of justifying an airport which will uproot the citizens of the locality, denying them their rights to their ancestral land, their settlement and their livelihood and resulting in their displacement to an uncertain, anxiety-filled new life. It is particularly concerned about the inhabitants of Mopa and the surrounding areas where agriculturists and people involved in other traditional occupations will suffer loss of their lands.

“Economic development for the benefit of a few economically powerful individuals and groups who work in collusion with those in public authority cannot become a justification for a second airport in Goa.

Development policies in Goa should not only be weighed in terms of immediate all-round impact, but must also ensure justice beyond the present generation,” said CSJP press release here signed by Fr. Savio

Fernandes, executive secretary of CSJP. A people's movement led by Fr. Ermito Rebello has been mobilising the people of Goa, particularly from south Goa, to oppose the second airport.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 6:46:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/csjp-seeks-reassessment-of-mopa-airport-project-in-goa/article6580471.ece

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