Panaji: Congress on Thursday alleged that BJP governments at center and Goa are pressurising international airlines to shift from Dabolim Airport to Manohar International Airport at Mopa to benefit GMR group.
Congress leader Elvis Gomes, addressing a press conference, said that the BJP government has hatched conspiracy to close down the Dabolim airport which was built in 1955.
“People are emotionally attached to Dabolim airport. However, the government is working in the interest of GMR who is running Mopa airport. Presently due to less operations it is facing loss and hence trying to pull operations from Dabolim. This practice will definitely close down Dabolim,” he said.
Adv Melwin Fernandes, President of Vasco Congress Block, Peter D’Souza, President of Cortalim Congress Block, Niyazi Shaikh and others were present.
“BJP government is not working in the interest of the public, but it wants GMR to earn profits. I appeal to people not to give a single vote to BJP,” he said, condemning the conspiracy of BJP.
“BJP’s civil aviation ministry and state government is pressuring the international airlines like Air India, Qatar Airways and others to shift from Dabolim to Mopa. If international operations from Dabolim are disturbed then sooner than later Dabolim will close down. BJP should clarify whether it is not pressuring and should promise that Dabolim will not shut,” Gomes said.
He said that the domestic sector will be unviable once International flights get diverted from Dabolim to Mopa.
“We demand that the government should work in the interest of people and not GMR. Stop harassing the international airlines. It is evident that BJP wants to spread casinos business in Goa and hence the Mopa airport has been built,” he charged.
Gomes said that if BJP government Mopar airport to flourish then it should bring additional airlines and not by robbing the business of Dabolim.
Adv Melwin Fernandes, President of Vasco Congress Block, said that Dabolim Airport is centrally located and benefits everyone.
“Stakeholders were told that Dabolim airport will not be shut once the Mopa airport is operational. However, the way central and state governments are pressuring airlines it seems all airlines will go to Mopa. This will affect South Goa,” Fernandes said.
Peter D’Souza, President of Cortalim Congress Block, said that there is fear that Dabolim will be closed. “BJP gave false promises. Cargo service is going to shift from Dabolim to Mopa,” he said.