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Goa: Opposition leaders, BJP spokesperson want new airport's name to be changed to 'Manohar Parrikar International Airport'

Press Trust of India logo Press Trust of India 19-01-2023 PTI
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Panaji, Jan 19 (PTI) Opposition leaders as well as a spokesperson of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Goa have demanded that the name of the new airport in the state should be 'Manohar Parrikar International Airport' and not 'Manohar International Airport'.

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Goa Forward Party (GFP) MLA Vijai Sardesai claimed the state government was trying to "wipe out" the legacy of late BJP leader and former chief minister Manohar Parrikar by not including his surname in the airport's name.

© PTI

The Goa Assembly on Wednesday evening passed a resolution naming the new greenfield airport at Mopa in North Goa district as 'Manohar International Airport'.

Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Yuri Alemao (Congress) and Sardesai demanded in the House that the airport be named as “Manohar Parrikar International Airport".

Sardesai sought the resolution be passed by division of votes and not by voice vote.

But, Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar refused and the resolution was passed by the voice vote.

On Thursday, BJP's Goa spokesperson Savio Rodrigues also expressed disappointment over the new airport's name.

“Until the name of the New Goa Airport is not appropriately named 'Manohar Parrikar International Airport' instead of 'Manohar International Airport' I will consciously not use the services of the airport. A tribute must not be only in words but in logical & appropriate acts,” he tweeted.

It is not a demand. It is the most logical act. Who is Manohar? India and the world know Mr Parrikar as Manohar Parrikar or Parrikar. Ask anyone not only in Goa, he said in another tweet.

"I am disappointed that Goa Chief Minister @DrPramodPSawant moved a resolution to name the airport as Manohar International Airport and not Manohar Parrikar International Airport. Even though it was Centre’s idea as Goa you could have moved the resolution for a true tribute," he added.

The airport was inaugurated in December 2022 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Union cabinet recently gave ex-post facto approval for naming the facility as 'Manohar International Airport', after former defence minister and Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar.

It said the airport has been named after late Manohar Parrikar in recognition of his contribution in building up modern Goa.

The new facility is located in North Goa's Mopa village, 35 km from state capital Panaji.

It is the second airport in Goa. The other South Goa-based Dabolim facility is operated as a civil enclave in the Indian Navy's air station INS Hansa.

The first phase of the Rs 2,870 crore Mopa airport project will cater to around 4.4 million passengers per annum (MPPA), which can be expanded to a saturation capacity of 33 MPPA, an official earlier said.

The new airport has been built on the theme of sustainable infrastructure and has a solar power plant, green buildings, LED lights on the runway, rainwater harvesting, state-of-the-art sewage treatment plant with recycling facilities, among other such facilities.

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