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Goa activists, Opposition welcome SC order on airport


IANS Panaji
Activists as well as the Opposition have welcomed the Supreme Court's order stopping construction of Goa's new greenfield international airport at Mopa.
The Supreme Court has also directed that an expert appraisal committee (EAC) be formed to study address specific environmental concerns. The court ordered suspending the environment clearance given to the project promoted by the GMR group.
Siddarth Karapurkar, a spokesperson for Goa-based petitioner Federation of Rainbow Warriors and an Aam Aadmi Party leader welcomed the order, saying it vindicated the NGOs' stand that the construction of the greenfield airport was being carried out without requisite clearances.
Hearing a petition filed by the NGO, a Supreme Court bench on Friday directed the EAC to undertake the assessment in a month's time and submit its report to the court.
The bench also scrapped the environment clearance given by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in October 2015 to the project. It also barred all courts in the country from entertaining any plea related to the Goa international airport.
The Congress said the order has proved that protests by the people of Goa against illegal cutting of trees at the airport were valid.
The Mopa international airport, located at the Mopa plateau in the Pernem sub-district in North Goa, is being constructed in four phases with an annual passenger capacity of 4.4 million in phase I, 5.8 million phase II, 9.4 million in phase III and 13.1 million in phase IV.
The airport has an ultimate potential of nearly 30 million passengers per annum.
As per a concession agreement between the state government and GMR Goa International Airport Limited, the airport will be developed as a passenger as well as a cargo hub by the concessionaire.

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First Published: Mar 29 2019 | 10:58 PM IST

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