Navy trying to control Goa's land resources: BJP Minister

Panaji, Oct 16: Goa's Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho on Wednesday once again lashed out at the Indian Navy, accusing it of using the guise of security to control land resources near its naval base INS Hansa in South Goa, which is also home to the state's only airport.

Addressing the media on Wednesday, Godinho accused the Indian Navy of permitting high rise buildings in close proximity to the Dabolim international airport's runway, while accusing the defence force of creating hurdles for construction of homes and other civilian high rise structures within a radius of 20 km from the airport facility, which is used by both civilian as well as military aircrafts.

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"Security should not be an excuse to get things done. We will never agree to this... I will give you so many examples where the Navy themselves have given NOCs for huge buildings next to the airport where the flight lands... How did they give those permissions," Godinho said.

The BJP Minister on Tuesday had also lashed out at the Navy, accusing the defence force of trying to rule Goa by proxy, by controlling land use norms in the vicinity of its base, which is home to the airport facility.

Godinho's outrage stems from a zoning proposal made by the Indian Navy, based on the guidelines of the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation, to deter and regulate real estate development within a 20 km radius of Goa's only airport, which functions out of a naval base INS Hansa, located near the port town of Vasco.

Godinho said, that nearly half of Goa, whose coastline is only around 100 kms in length, would be covered under the 20 km radius as suggested by the Indian Navy.

"The issue is very simple, as per the new norms sought to be enforced by the navy, for any development to come up within 20 kms radius, especially high rise buildings of more than one floor or even for one floor, you have to go for NOC from naval authorities. It is impossible for the common man. That means more than, almost half of Goa will have to go to the Navy for permission. What sort of law is this and how can it be practically implemented," Godinho said on Wednesday.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant is expected to convene a meeting of government agencies and the Indian Navy to resolve the issue on October 22.