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Oppn slams Goa govt over shifting of airlines from Dabolim to new airport at Mopa

IANS | February 28, 2024 09:53 AM

PANAJI: Goa's opposition parties on Tuesday targeted the BJP government over shifting of international airlines from Dabolim airport to Manohar International Airport at Mopa, terming it a conspiracy to shut the south Goa airport.

"One after the other, airlines are shifting to Mopa and the government remains a silent spectator. Is this part of a larger conspiracy?" Leader of Opposition Yuri Alemao said.

According to him, Qatar Airways has announced to shift its operations to Manohar International Airport in North Goa from June 2024 by discontinuing services at Dabolim airport situated in South district.

"I had urged Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to take proactive steps to ensure Dabolim Airport continues. Unfortunately, the BJP government is deliberately ignoring the shifting of operations by various airlines.

"We have seen in the last two years a sharp decline in passenger movement and airline activities at Dabolim. Government has failed to come out with a comprehensive action plan to ensure that Dabolim International Airport continues, " Alemao said.

"I am confident that the INDIA bloc will form the Government at the Centre in 2024 and Congress will ensure that the Dabolim Airport will continue, " he said.

Goa Forward Party MLA Vijai Sardesai said that the exodus from Dabolim continues.

"Despite the government's repeated assertions that the Dabolim Airport will not be allowed to shut down, the news everyday points to just the opposite. One by one, both domestic and international airlines are packing their bags and shifting to MIA, " he said.

"The growing concern of South Goa passengers is real and justified, and I have repeatedly and forcefully raised their fears both in the Assembly and outside. Chief Minister Pramod Sawant must clarify why airlines are abandoning Dabolim despite his word to the people of Goa that he won’t allow it to happen, " he said.

Congress leader Girish Chodankar alleged that the BJP has started showing its true colours by hatching a conspiracy to shut Dabolim airport for civilians. "Discontinuation of services by Qatar Airways at Dabolim Airport and shifting at Manohar International Airport is a sign and conspiracy by BJP of making ‘The End’ of South Goa airport, " he said.

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