Mopa airport should not meet the fate of Lanka air terminus: Eremito

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MARGAO: Convener of Goans For Dabolim Only Fr Eremito Rebello on Saturday cautioned the state government that it should take appropriate decision on the Mopa airport stating that if it is imposed on Goans it will meet the same fate like that of Sri Lanka airport, which was constructed by spending huge money and is now being used as a warehouse for want of income.

Addressing the media in Margao, Fr Rebello said the members are collecting documentary evidence to prepare a strong case to knock the doors of the court. “We would not be holding further public meetings.  Now it is time for us to approach the court. We, therefore, are in the process of collecting evidence as much as we can,” he stated, while responding to media queries.

“Neighbouring country – Sri Lanka has paid a heavy price for constructing a second airport. Just like Mopa greenfield, the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport was constructed with the promise that it would boost tourism and create jobs. This was done on heavy borrowings- hundreds of millions of dollars. Today, Sri Lanka officials have announced plans to use this airport,  built merely to feed the vanity of toppled Sri Lanka strongman  Rajapakse, as a rice storage warehouse in an attempt  to reduce losses,” he said.

He said Goa government too is in huge debts. The state government borrowings have led to burdening every Goan with Rs 93,000 debt.

Refuting the charge that GFDO addresses media only when there are elections,  Fr Rebello and member Sidharth Karapurkar said they received information of eight airports of the country, sanctioned in 2009 along with Mopa, which are not doing  good  despite having spent huge money.

“We got the information last week. That is why we thought of addressing the media. It is incorrect to suggest that we are addressing the media only when elections are round the corner,” Karapurkar added.

Replying to another query, Fr Rebello said they would challenge the environment  clearance only when it is granted to the government.