02 Mar 2024  |   07:03am IST

'Oppn attempting to divide North and South Goa over Dabolim airport issue'

Team Herald

VASCO: Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte accused the opposition of attempting to sow discord between North and South Goa using the Dabolim and Mopa Airports. 

 Speaking to reporters following the Panchayat Chalo Abhiyan programme in Chicalim, Khaunte said, "I was part of a delegation with Minister Mauvin Godinho and CM Dr Pramod Sawant, meeting Union Civil Aviation Minister V K Singh. We were assured and even got a commitment from the Union Civil Aviation Minister that both the airports will survive. With an airline shifting operations from Dabolim to Mopa, this issue started again.”

Khaunte stressed the need to ensure both airports serve Goans and tourists. He mentioned efforts to enhance infrastructure and increase flights to Goa, urging against political division over the airport issue. Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho echoed Khaunte's sentiments, asserting that Dabolim Airport's operations won't be affected by a single airline's move. “Airport Director Dhanamjaya Rao has also confirmed that Dabolim Airport has no threat and is here to stay. I will also find out if Mopa is giving any concession to airline operators on the quiet. I have asked the director to act like Dabolim is a private airport and talk 

to their higher ups so that we can compete and offer the same concessions given by Mopa Airport,” said Godinho.

Regarding illegal touting, Khaunte emphasised a zero-tolerance approach, vowing to crack down on those tarnishing Goa's image. “Illegal touting has to be stopped and I am continuously following up on the coastal areas and even Dabolim Airport and we will ensure that we will act on them. Illegal touting has to be stopped, because they are not doing it in a small manner but have sold the values of Goa and Goans,” said Khaunte.


Iddhar Udhar