Different opinions over naming new Mopa Airport, govt maintains silence

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Mopa: Two different opinions are expressed over naming of upcoming Mopa International Airport, scheduled to be commissioned next month, even as the State government has maintained silence over the issue.

A section of people demand that the new International Greenfield Airport facility be named after Goa’s First Chief Minister Late Dayanand alias Bhausaheb Bandodkar, another demands that it should be named after First Leader of Opposition of Goa Dr Jack Sequeira.

Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant on Friday had said that the Airport would be commissioned at the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after December 08, 2022, depending on availability of his dates.

Former Goa RSS chief Subhash Velingkar said that the Mopa Airport should be named after Goa’s first CM Late Dayanand Bandodkar, who had understood true ethoes of the state, unlike the politicians of current times.

“We will not tolerate if any other name is attempted to be given to Mopa Airport. There is demand cutting across all the political parties that the Airport ba named after late Bandodkar,” said Velingkar, addressing a public meeting at Pernem taluka on Friday. The meeting was organised by like-minded people at Pernem, the taluka where Mopa Airport is located. Several politicians including former Union Minister Ramakant Khalap was present for the meeting.

Velingkar said “Bandodkar represented a different value system which was in sync with state’s original character. However, over last few years, mostly from the year 2012 onwards, the values of Goa are trampled upon.”

He went to add that the chief minister like Manohar Parrikar was responsible for turning Goa into the hub of casinos.

However, BJP Goa spokesman Savio Rodrigues said that the new Airport should be named after state’s first leader of opposition Dr Jack Sequeira.

Stating that there is no better tribute to the man who saved the identity of Goa at a time when certain political leaders wanted to merge Goa with Maharashtra, BJP Spokesperson Savio Rodrigues said, “My personal opinion on the naming of Mopa International Airport. It should be named after Dr Jack De Sequeira. He fought to retain the identity of Goa and not merge it with Maharashtra.”

Further more in his post on social media platform Twitter Rodrigues expressed, “Mopa International Airport and Dabolim International Airport should be focused on the economic growth of Goa.”

Rodrigues said that everyone has a right to demand the naming of an important state infrastructure after someone important to them.

“And there is no doubt that Dayanand Bandodkar was one of Goa’s prominent and respected political leaders. But the Mopa International Airport should be named after a leader who fought to retain Goa’s identity and not merge it with Maharashtra,” he said.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has maintained silence over the issue. Talking to reporters during his visit to Mopa Airport on Friday, Sawant said that the decision on naming of the Airport would be taken by Union Civil Aviation Ministry. “We will inform the ministry, whatever we have to,” he added.

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