Source: The Times of India Goa September 9, 2014

PANAJI: The environment impact assessment (EIA) report of the greenfield international airport at Mopa is in the final stage and will take two months time for submission to the government.

Government sources said that once the EIA report is submitted to the government, the public hearing will commence.

The Engineering India Limited (EIL) company has been given the task to conduct the EIA study for the greenfield international airport at Mopa. Around five months ago, the EIA study was begun at the proposed site.

Government sources said EIL is conducting the EIA study on six parameters and only two parameters are left to complete the study before putting it to the government. Sources said that EIL will now incorporate baseline data with remote sensing data.

Chief minister Manohar Parrikar is likely to hold a meeting as soon as he returns back from his private visit to review the progress on the Mopa airport.

Sources said that the government will soon invite bids for request for qualification (RFQ) for the Mopa airport. The state has acquired 74 lakh sqm of land for the airport in Pernem taluka.

State government will construct the Mopa airport on public private partnership (PPP) mode. The state government had slowed down the Mopa airport process keeping in mind the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls.

Government sources said that as the elections are over, the state government will now speed up the process of completing the project.

The state government has made it clear that they want to project Goa as an aviation hub. Parrikar had given glimpses of his plan in 2013, when the Goa government slashed VAT on ATF refueling in the state from 22% to 12.5%.

Two NGOs are active in Goa; one opposes the Mopa airport, while the second one supports it. Both NGOs are aggressively campaigning in Goa to convince people to support them.

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