Current Affairs

South Gram Sabhas wake-up to ‘No to Mopa’

Goa government plan to surge ahead with the Mopa International airport is going to face further resistance with the Gram Sabhas of Benaulim, Seraulim, Cavelossim, Chinchinim, Carmona, Macazana, Telaulim and other panchayat bodies joining in their opposition against the proposed Mopa airport.

At Telaulim village in Navelim constituency, gram sabha members demanded shifting of the Navy to the Seabird naval base at Karwar to facilitate upgradation of the Dabolim airport on par with international standards.

At Seraulim, a motion was tabled to maintain Dabolim as Goa’s only airport as it is centrally located and can serve the entire State of Goa. Members asserted that it is not feasible to have two airports in Goa and Mopa can adversely affect tourism in South Goa. The resolution was passed unanimously and the sarpanch was requested to forward the same to the government through the local MLA.

Benaulim gram sabha also joined the opposition against the proposed airport at Mopa. A resolution opposing the airport at Mopa, claiming that the same is being constructed using resources from local resources was opposed by the gram sabha. It was pointed out that land being scarce in Goa, the proposed airport would entail acquisition of huge tracks of land by displacing local people for the benefit of neighbouring State of Maharashtra.

Quoting experts saying that two airports are not feasible in Goa, members apprehended that the construction of Mopa would result in the closure of Dabolim, destroying tourism in the State and South Goa at large.

Interestingly, members demanded to know the silence of the MLAs on the controversial issue and demanded that the elected representatives support the anti-Mopa movement.

Macazana gram sabha also opposed construction of the Mopa airport and demanded upgradation of Dabolim. Members asserted that the proposed airport at Mopa would spell doom for Goa and its tourism.

Meanwhile, the Orlim gram sabha has called for a special gram sabha on March 10 to discuss the airport issue and special status for Goa.

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