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Mopa villagers oppose second airport project in Goa

Last Updated: Sunday, March 27, 2011 - 20:22

Panaji: A farmers` committee fighting
against the proposed greenfield airport at village Mopa in
north Goa on Sunday said that about 15,000 people would be
affected by the project.

Mopa Airport-Affected Farmers` Committee (MAAFC) members
told reporters today that almost 15,000 people were getting
affected with the airport project.

"There is vast plantation of different crops that brings
annual income of Rs 80 crore for 15,000 people who are
dependent on these hills for livelihood," Sandip Kambli, MAAFC
Secretary Sandip Kambli said.

He said that the villagers have decided to oppose any
government attempts to acquire their land for the airport,
which offers no benefit to the state and locals in particular.

"International guidelines for airports suggest that
distance between two projects should not be less than 150 km
but the existing Dabolim airport is only about 40 km from
Mopa," Kambli pointed out.

Besides, a new airport is also being planned at Chipi
in Sindhudurg (Maharashtra) which is about 80 kms away from
Mopa, he added.

Kambli said that the land worth Rs 1500 crore has been
earmarked for acquisition for the airport project.

The villagers are a worried lot as they don`t know as
to what would happen to them after being paid meagre
government rates for their land.

"We will not be able to buy a piece of land anywhere
else. The land prices are soaring in the state," he said.

Father Bismark Fernandes, a priest, who is supporting the
people at Mopa said that the construction of airport will
affect the entire Pernem taluka.

The land is situated on the plateau and all the water
springs are fed water from here. All the springs will dry up
once the project comes up, Kambli said.

He said that Mopa village is located in the heart
of Western Ghats which is already declared as a bio diversity

He added that International Civil Aviation
Organisation (ICAO) has already ruled that two airports are
not feasible for the tiny state like Goa.

First Published: Sunday, March 27, 2011 - 20:22
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