Ex-MLA Matanhy Saldanha has demanded that the Goa Government take up very strongly with the Ministry of Defence the shifting of the Naval Training centre at Dabolim to the Karwar Naval base.
Pointing out that the government is preparing to spend Rs. 10,000 crore on the Karwar naval base expansion, he said the Goa government should demand that the naval training centre be shifted to Karwar and this shift be made a part of the expansion programme.
He said that shifting of the training centre to Karwar will pave way for returning the Dabolim airport to civilian authority as it was prior to Goa’s liberation by the Indian Armed Forces in Operation Vijay.
“The Dabolim airport was seized by the Indian Armed Forces during Operation Vijay and has remained in its custody as war booty since then,” he said adding that now was the time to demand it back to the civilian authority as a Golden Jubilee gift to Goa by the forces that liberated it.
He also pointed out that the Indian Armed Forces have sizeable land in Goa in its possession which is nearly 10 per cent of the total area in Goa.
The expansion of Karwar Naval Base is undertaken to act as a check to the proposed construction of a naval base at Gwadar in Pakistan by China which will give Pakistan direct access to the Gulf region.