Tender for project to be floated in first week of November
PANJIM: The ambitious Rs 3,000 crore greenfield international airport at Mopa has been granted the Environment Clearance (EC) from the Union Ministry for Environment and Forests (MoEF). The tender for the project will be floated in the first week of November, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar announced on Tuesday.
Parsekar said that the MoEF Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) has recommended granting of EC to the Mopa airport project. “Today (Tuesday) there was a meeting in New Delhi. After seeking all clarifications to the queries raised by the Ministry, the EC has been granted for the project,” Parsekar said.
“MoEF committee has admitted all our contentions and has accordingly granted EC, the long-pending issue is finally settled,” the chief minister said.
Parsekar said that the Request for Proposal (RFP) document will be placed before the cabinet this week for its nod. “The tender for the project will be floated by the first week of November,” he said.
The project has attracted wide opposition from several sections, especially in South Goa, who fear that the new airport will lead to the closure of the existing Dabolim International Airport. There have been also several environmental concerns raised.
Margao-based NGO, Federation of Rainbow Warriors, had approached the EAC that the State government be directed to conduct a proper and factual study of the Mopa land as it alleged that the environment impact assessment (EIA) process was full of ‘flaws’.
The NGO had alleged that the process was vague on factors such as terms of reference and baseline data, hydrogeology details, impact on local communities, flora and fauna, etc.
The EIA report, prepared by Engineers India Limited, was submitted to the State government in December 2014, based on which a public hearing was conducted. The report summary had stated that the project doesn’t fall in an ecologically sensitive zone, will have a significant positive impact on employment and occupation, and improve the social and economic environment in the vicinity.
The government had finalized five companies, including Airport Authority of India, GVK, GMR, Essel Infra Mumbai and Voluptas Developers, to participate in the financial bid (request for proposal) for constructing the Mopa airport.
As per the Request for Qualification (RFQ) document, the airport – which is being constructed on a public-private-partnership – will be developed in four phases. Phase I is expected to be completed by 2020 and will cater to 4.4 million passengers, while Phase II is likely to be ready by 2025 and this will handle 5.8 million passengers.
An area of 81,29,455 sq mtrs has been acquired for development of the Mopa airport in Pernem taluka. Further, an area of 381 acres has been proposed near the airport site for commercial development.