The Mopa airport is not in the interest of Goa or Goans and is merely a guise to enable vested interest to grab land in the area while driving the locals to penury alleged the Mopa Vimantall Piditt Xetkari Samiti (MVPXS).
Addressing media persons on Sunday, Sandeep Kamble, MVPXS Secretary revealed that nearly 266 Sale Deeds amounting to Rs. 1,500 corers registered with regards to land around the proposed airport makes them suspect that the local land is sought to be grabbed to enable real estate developers to make a quick buck.
Besides, he said the pittance offered as compensation by the government will not enable the displaced persons to purchase land anywhere else in Goa given the high prices of land in the State.
He pointed out that the affected people, numbering nearly 15,000, are basically farmers dependent upon the plateau where the airport is proposed and the surrounding slopes for their livelihood as they live of the produce of the forests therein by like coconuts, mango, chickoo and jackfruits.
Besides, the MVPXS pointed out that destruction of the forest will destroying the habitat of the various animals and birds living there and wondered how such a project could be permitted in the Western Ghats which has been declared a bio diversity hot spot.
Fr Maverick Fernandes of the Council for Social Justice and Peace which is supporting the anti-Mopa airport movement, pointed out that the airport would result in drying of the springs in the area as the natural vegetation will be destroyed.
He also pointed out that international guidelines for airports suggest that the distance between two airports should not be less than 150 kms, but in the case of Mopa, Dabolim airport is around 40 kms away and the airport proposed at Chipi in Sindhudurg district further North is about 80 kms away.