Goa- MOPA Airport a ploy to push real estate rates #Makanakamopa


Wednesday, 05 June 2013 | Mayabhushan | Panaji
 

The proposed Greenfield international airport in Mopa is nothing but a ploy by politicians cutting across political lines to push real estate rates up for their benefits, a group of farmers alleged on Tuesday.

Addressing a Press conference in Panaji on Tuesday, Mopa Vimantall Pidit Xetkar Samiti, a body of farmers protesting against the acquisition of land for the proposed international airport, named three politicians, who had purchased land in the vicinity of the airport site at Mopa village, located 40 kms north of the capital, near the GoaMaharashtra border.

Samiti’s secretary Sandeep Kambli, said, “Laxmikant Parsenkar, Ramakant Khalap and Wilson Godinho, brother of Congress MLA Mauvin Godinho are those who we know have bought land near Mopa. We have copies of the sale deeds in their names. There maybe more, we do not know about yet,” Kambli said.

The samiti said that the State does not need a second airport and that the new one is being forced on the State. Neither of the politicians named have denied making the purchases rather sought to justify them.

BJP spokesperson Damodar Naik said that the Parsekar’s land purchases at Mopa were genuine and without ulterior motive. Khalap and Mauvin who have both publicly supported the coming up of the new airport have insisted that their support was for the holistic development. and ‘jobs’ a functioning airport would give the local residents.

Goa presently has one airport, run by the Indian Navy, while the civilian terminal is controlled by the Airports Authority of India. The airport is at Dabolim and is equidistant from Goa’s north, south and eastern extremes.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has also defended the airport saying that increasing air passenger traffic, combined with military restrictions on timing and access to areas within the airport had forced both the central as well as the State Government to start another airport in north Goa.

The Mopa airport, on a plateau at Goa’s northernmost tip, however, as been the centre of a political storm especially since the current Government decided to fast track the process, almost creating a North Goa-South Goa divide.

South Goa politicians claim that once Mopa is operational, the military airport at Dabolim would be off-limits to civilians. The extent of how real this fear us was exemplified by the fact that the proponents of the airport have had to repeatedly insist that Dabolim will not be shut down.

Kambli along with 60 farmers have already approached the Bombay High court seeking a stay on the acquisition of over 23 lakh sq mts land required for the airport.

 

Differently-abled people seen as threat by aviation security in India


This is the internationally recognized symbol ...

Image via Wikipedia

Aarti Dhar,The  Hindu

It’s an outright insult, says Disabled Rights Group

The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) regulations say that there is high probability of differently-abled people carrying weapons, explosives and other dangerous materials with them, and therefore, there is ample reason to be more alert and wary.
The Disabled Rights Group (DRG) has described the regulations as “disability insensitive and outright insult and violation of the human rights of persons with disability.”

According to the regulations, “Screeners should be thoroughly briefed that the possibility of carrying weapons/explosives and other dangerous materials through such passengers is higher than a normal passenger and therefore, these passengers need to be checked with care.”
RTI query

In reply to a query filed under the Right to Information by the DRG, the Airports Authority of India said: “There is no scope for leniency in respect of invalid/disabled/sick persons during the pre-embarkation screening/procedures. On the contrary, there is ample reason to be more alert and wary.” As a result, disabled passengers face undue harassment at the hands of untrained security personnel. More often than not, disabled passengers using a wheelchair are asked to “stand up” or “transfer” from their personal wheelchair to sub-standard airport wheelchairs. What the security personnel do not know is that most wheelchair users use customised wheelchairs and cushions.
The U.S. scenario

In contrast to the Indian scenario, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a dedicated helpline to assist travellers with disabilities and medical conditions. Passengers can call 72 hours ahead of travel for information about what to expect during screening.

TSA Cares serves as an additional, dedicated resource specifically for passengers with disabilities, medical conditions or other circumstances or their loved ones who want to be prepared for the screening process prior to flying. When a passenger with a disability or medical condition calls it, a representative either provides information about screening that is relevant to the passenger’s disability or medical condition, or refers him/her to disability experts at the TSA.

“Nowhere in the world will a disabled person be asked to take off leg braces, or explain medical attachments like a leg bag that holds urine,” said DRG convener Javed Abidi.
Rights violation

“This is not only humiliating but a violation of human rights. We are not asking for any leniency in security procedures. After all, civilised nations of the world have developed systems to ensure that disabled passengers are frisked with due respect to their dignity,” he noted.

Although, Directorate of Civil Aviation guidelines clearly mention that a passenger is allowed to take her/his own wheelchair to the boarding gates, security personnel bully those who are not aware of their rights.

“What is even more shameful and embarrassing is that countries that have a greater security threat and stricter security programmes have defined guidelines for screening passengers with disability. At no airport in the U.S., the U.K., the European Union and even countries like South Africa, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Korea, Thailand, and UAE will a disabled passenger using a wheelchair be asked to ‘get up’ from her/his wheelchair,” Mr. Abidi said.

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