Chief minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday told the Goa assembly that an area within a 7 km radius from the centre of Mopa airport will be frozen and no commercial development will be allowed.
Indicating that the state government has no intention of backing out of the Mopa airport project, Parrikar said that a request for quotation (RFQ) from interested parties for construction of the airport will be released after April 6, whereas physical possession of the acquired land will be taken on April 8.
Parrikar made the statements while replying to the discussion on demands to grants. He reiterated his stand that Mopa is in the interests of Goa and that Dabolim airport will not be shut down.
He said that by the end of 2016, or by early 2017, Mopa airport will be operative when projected passenger traffic at Dabolim airport will be 5.5 million per year. He said the terms and conditions of the RFQ have been drawn keeping in mind the interests of Goa.
"The government's stake in the project is 26%," Parrikar said, briefing the house on the RFQ. Stating that Goans will benefit by Mopa airport in terms of employment he said the company that is given the concession to build the airport will be asked to train local people to be inducted in jobs at the airport.
Parrikar said nobody should be under any illusion that construction activity will be allowed near the airport that could destroy vegetation in the surrounding areas. He also told the House that the land acquisition policy will be released before the end of the session. "We intend to give compensation to farmers who have lost their land to airport at the rate of 150 to 300 per sq m," he said.
The rate will be decided depending on the quality of the land.
The government has been facing flak from certain opposition members for not giving adequate compensation to farmers.
Referring to allegations by some opposition members, he said his government is in no hurry to process the Mopa project and that every procedure is being meticulously followed.
The chief minister also read a note of the central cabinet dated May 3, 2010 to assure the house that it is not just his government but also the central government that is equally interested in getting another airport in Goa. The report by the international civil aviation organization (ICAO) made in 2007, had said that two airports can co-exist in the state.
Parrikar further pointed out that there are also parameters of the central government for equitable distribution of air traffic where there are two airports, allaying fears that Dabolim will lose business to Mopa airport.
Mopa Fast Forward
Request for proposal (RFQ) will be released after April 6
Physical possession of land will be taken on April 8
No commercial development within 7 km radius from the centre of airport
Compensation to farmers at the rate of Rs 150 to 300 per sq mt. [TOI]