Fear of Dabolim airport closure subsides: Goa Minister

Panaji, May 18 (IANS): Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho on Thursday said that the fear of Dabolim International airport's closure has subsided after both airports have started operating smoothly.

"There was fear that Dabolim airport would close after operation of Mopa airport starts, but today both airports are operating smoothly. Maximum tourists are coming to Goa. It is our responsibility to develop good transport service, in coming years more changes will be made," Godinho said during a programme in north Goa.

He said that the double engine government is doing double development in the state. "All works are going on in pace with support from the central government. You will witness new changes in the coming days in the transport area. Electric buses create a good atmosphere. Change will come in a manner where everyone will be proud," he said.

Currently Goa has two airports, Dabolim International Airport (DIA) in South and Manohar International airport in the North.

On many occasions, taxi operators from South Goa had expressed fears that once the airport in North Goa gets operational, Dabolim airport will be closed. Opposition parties too had expressed similar fear and had come in support of the taxi operators.

After facing the pressure from the taxi operators, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant was forced to assure on the floor of House in January 2023 tha the Dabolim International Airport (DIA) in South Goa will not be closed.

Mormugao BJP MLA Sankalp Amonkar had raised the issue pertaining to DIA during zero hour.

Amonkar had stated that traditional Yellow-Black Taxi and Tourist Taxi operators have apprehension that with the commencement of Manohar International Airport at Mopa in North Goa DIA will be closed.

"These taxi operators at Dabolim International Airport are solely dependent on the taxi business at the airport for their livelihood with no other source of income. They fear that with the commencement of new airport the Dabolim Airport will eventually be closed and thus there is apprehension in their minds about the impact on their livelihood," Amonkar had said.

Replying to him, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said, "I reiterate again 'Bhivpachi garaz na (there's no need to worry)'. Dabolim Airport will not be closed... that is true. Because we are taking a review on a day to day basis, both airports will operate in the state. Taxi operators should not worry about it," Sawant had said.



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