Centre conspiring with State on Mopa Airport: GFDO
Convener of Goans for Dabolim Airport Only (GFDO) Fr Eremito Rebello alleged that the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest is openly conspiring with the Goa government to push the vexed Mopa airport project upon the state.
Fr Rebello said, “This was evident from Javadekar’s announcement during his Goa visit that he would grant environment clearance even before the actual meeting of the Environment Appraisal Committee took place. Such unilateral and high-handed behaviour is a slap on democratic processes and makes it abundantly clear that the said ministry has lost sight of protecting the environment of the nation, which in the case of Mopa comprises rich and invaluable forests, wildlife, agricultural lands and perennial springs of the plateau.’’
He said that vested interests, who have bought huge lands in Pernem taluka in Goa and Sindhudurg district in Maharashtra would benefit from it.
Fr Rebello informed that the Minister further went on to violate all norms by chairing the meeting of the committee, as reported in the newspapers. “The minister’s arrogance and lack of respect for procedures and law only matches his obvious disrespect for the environment, his lack of concern for Goa’s already beleaguered tourism industry or the 10,000 poor Goans who will be directly displaced by the project, and his abject obedience to the needs and demands of private profiteers.”
He alleged that the pre-emptive announcement made by Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar that the environment clearance has been granted for the proposed Mopa airport project is not only factually incorrect, but a blatant interference in the functioning of the Union MoEF.
“Parsekar abused the opportunity provided to the Goa government to be present during the proceedings,’’ he said adding that the hasty and premature statement of Parsekar has completely violated the sanctity of the appraisal process, since the minutes of the meeting have not been written yet.
He said that it is amply clear that the Union MoEF is openly conspiring with the Goa government to push the vexed Mopa airport project upon the state, even at the cost of subverting due procedures laid down for clearance of such massive projects that are sure to have long-term repercussions on the environment and future of Goa.