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Once a staunch opponent of the international airport at Mopa in North Goa, state town and country planning minister Vijai Sardesai today publicly supported the project.
He claimed that "changing a persons mindset is very important."
Sardesai told reporters that his opposition for the greenfield project in the past was due to the lack of connectivity of South Goa to this facility (airport) which is located in North Goa.
"Changing a persons mindset is very important. We had opposed Mopa airport earlier as the new airport would be disconnecting north and south districts of Goa," Sardesai, representing Goa Forward Party, told reporters today near Panaji.
He said issue of connectivity between the two districts has already been addressed by the government by planning to construct a six-lane highway and also a bridge on the Zuari river.
Reacting to a demand by a section of people asking for the tender for construction of Mopa airport, granted to GMR International be scrapped, Sardesai asked, "The tender for the construction of airport has already been given. When they have broken the ground at Mopa, how can you expect me to ask for the project to be stopped? Can anybody rationally visualize the government scrapping Mopa airport project?"
The first phase of international airport at Mopa is scheduled to be commissioned in the year 2020.
When asked about the formation of Planning and Development Authority (PDA) specifically for Mopa, the area around the proposed airport, Sardesai said that the area around the airport was notified in September 2016 by the then Parsekar government.
"The current government has only completed the process by announcing the PDA for the area," he said.