Restricted development zone around Goa airport reduced

Restricted development zone around Goa airport reduced
Panaji: The Indian Navy has reduced the restricted development area for new constructions around Goa’s Dabolim international airport from a radius of 20 km to 4 km around the aviation facility, after a meeting with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Airport Authority of India and other officials, state Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho said on Wednesday.

Godinho, however said, that the state government would write to the Union Defence Minister as well as Union Civil Aviation Minister, to further reduce the radius, as it would cause hardship to existing residents within the four km area, as well as those keen on new constructions, who would need to seek a no objection certificate from the Indian Navy for carrying out construction or modification of existing homes and commercial establishments.

“Now NOC is to be obtained from the Navy only for development in a 4 km radius from the airport, which mostly includes a large area in Mormugao sub district. The restriction on development was earlier around a 20 km radius,” Godinho told reporters, claiming the Indian Navy had “climbed down” from its earlier position.

Over the last week, Godinho whose constituency of Dabolim is home to the Dabolim international airport, as well as Opposition MLAs had accused the navy of trying to interfere in state administration affairs, by citing a 2015 notification of the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The central government notification stipulates, that an NOC needs to be sought from the operating authority of a particular aerodrome, prior to any construction within 20 kilometres from the runway.

Since the Dabolim aviation facility is a dual use airfield for civil and military purposes and the Indian Navy is the aerodrome operating authority, the requirement of NOC from the naval authorities was mandatory.

Responding to the criticism, the Indian Navy in a statement had maintained that it was only following the central government directive vis-a-vis creation of a restricted development area around the airport, which operates from its naval base INS Hansa.

Godinho however said, that the reduction of four km radius was also not favourable to the state government, which would write to the Union Defence and Civil Aviation Ministers to whittle down the restricted development area further.

“Further relaxation of this particular condition of 4 km radius, will be done by the state government, after meeting Union Civil Aviation Minister as well as Defence Minister to whom CM will be writing to soon,” Godinho said.

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