OPPOSITION TO MOPA AIROPORT SHOULD BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION

PANJIM: Opposition by locals should also be taken into consideration besides other yardsticks before the construction of greenfield airport at Mopa in North Goa, a senior official said here on Thursday.  "It is not just the distance or other aspects but also dissent of the people should be considered while constructing Mopa airport," said Nirmal Andrews, Former Chairman, Projects Assessment and Appraisal Committee (Infrastructure and Miscellenous projects), Union Environment and Forest Ministry.
The Greenfield airport planned at Mopa village in North Goa has met opposition from locals, who have complained of losing their orchids to this project.  Andrews said MOEF will have to take into account views of the local government while planning airports like Mopa and has to address the resistance of locals.
Goa government has already began land acquisition process for this airport, which will be the second airstrip in the state, bordering Maharashtra. "The airport has to be environment friendly, people should be keen about it and also it should use clean energy resources," Andrews said.
The former MoEF Joint Secretary who headed the ministry’s appraisal committee till last year was in Goa to participate for the 'Indo-French Seminar on Sustainable Tourism' organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). He said the state government should assess how much land they require for the construction of the airport.
Andrews also said banning of sand mining in Goa under recent Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) 2011 was required to protect environment. "Sand mining will ruin CRZ areas. The state government should find an alternate for sand, if it thinks that the construction industry would be affected," he said. – PTI

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