Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday said some companies have already started showing interest to bid for Greenfield airport project at Mopa in north Goa, which would be the second airport in the state.
"We will ensure that only good companies bid for the project," Parrikar told the state Legislative Assembly today, adding that 10-15 companies have already shown interest in the bids.
"There is a rush to bid for the airport project," he said. The project, planned in Mopa village near Goa-Maharashtra border, has evoked strong reaction from the tourism industry players in south Goa, who fear closure of Dabolim airport once Mopa becomes operational.
The issue was today raised by Congress legislator Chandrakant Kavlekar and Independent MLA Vijay Sardessai. Kavlekar questioned what assurance does the state government has that the Dabolim airport would continue after Mopa facility becomes functional.
Parrikar, quoting the Union government`s cabinet resolution which assures the continuation of Dabolim even after Mopa takes shape, said that the Airport Authority of India (AAI) has invested Rs 550 crore in upgrading the facilities at Dabolim.
"More money would be invested in near future on Dabolim airport and hence Union government cannot decide to shut down the airport abruptly after investing so much," the Chief Minister added.
He also said that the airline operators would prefer to land at Dabolim because the landing fees would be much cheaper compared to Mopa, which would be a new facility.
"It would be cheaper to land at Dabolim so airline companies would prefer there," Parrikar said.
Mopa would also be a feasible airport because Dabolim is hitting saturation point in a few years, resulting in the necessity of a new facility, he said.
The Mopa airport will also have facilities for big Cargo handling which are not existing at Dabolim, he added.