Source: The Times of India Goa October 2, 2014

Panaji: Despite reservations from two ministers, the state cabinet on Wednesday approved the proposal to float a request for qualification (RFQ) from interested parties to build a greenfield international airport at Mopa in Pernem taluka. The RFQ is likely to be issued on Friday.

While forests minister Alina Saldanha asked chief minister Manohar Parrikar whether the government can float a RFQ when the environment impact assessment (EIA) has not been completed, fisheries minister Avertano Furtado raised the demand of the people of Navelim who had objected to the government's decision to go ahead with a RFQ for the Mopa airport and opposed the project.

Parrikar later said that he gave "satisfactory answers" to all the questions raised by the two ministers. He said that some of the issues raised by the ministers "were based on wrong information" and he doesn't blame them for that as there is not much information available.

The chief minister said the cabinet decided that in the first or second week of November, there will be special programmes in South Goa where the civil aviation department will provide details of the project and the government will reply to queries raised by the people.

Parrikar also said he does not see anything wrong in issuing a RFQ before the EIA is completed as a RFQ will only list out companies that will be eligible for the work.

The RFQ document states that the government has endorsed the centre's stand confirming that Dabolim airport will remain open for commercial civil operations even after Mopa airport becomes operational and that around 381 acres of land at Mopa will be allotted for commercial development. Parrikar said that request of proposal (RFP) will spell out exact nature and quantity of land available.

The RFQ document also said that EIA is in progress and that the concession agreement will be signed only after the study has been completed and environmental clearance obtained from the Union ministry of environment and forest.

Parrikar said Goa needs a second airport and that the road network will be improved. "We are anticipating business generation of 3 million passengers at Dabolim and 4 million passengers at Mopa," he said. The government has acquired 82 lakh sq m of land for Mopa airport.

Featured List