Irked by the cabinet’s decision to drop the acquisition of part of the land meant for Dabolim airport’s expansion, Benaulim MLA Francisco ‘Mickky’ Pacheco on Saturday demanded that the state reverse its decision and continue with the acquisition. He stressed he would support the demands of the people.
Taking a potshot at his bete noire Churchill Alemao, he said, “The Airports Authority of India’s request has been turned down by the state government. The so-called leader of the masses of South Goa, who has been championing the cause of Dabolim airport, was present at this cabinet meeting. He not only remained a mute spectator but even supported the cabinet decision.”
While Alemao was not available for a comment, deputy speaker Mauvin Godinho said that the government’s decision to drop 36,000 sq m from the land acquisition is justified as it would have been used for CISF barracks. Instead the state has recommended acquisition of 70,000 sq m of land near the airport. He said no central government agency can be allowed to “usurp” land belonging to local people when alternatives are available.