Parulekar v/s Michael-Agnel: Aguada helipad becomes political battlefield

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 31 January 2016 20:44 IST

The 30-year old helipad at Sinquerim has suddenly turned into a political battlefield with existing and former MLAs of Calangute are bent upon not allowing starting the helicopter service while tourism minister Dilip Parulekar saying it would start from tomorrow.

The state authorities however cancelled today’s inaugural ceremony at Sinquerim while former Congress MLA Agnel Fernandes and existing BJP MLA Michael Lobo holding a protest meeting in the village.

“We didn’t cancel the inauguration. Union tourism minister Mahesh Sharma cancelled his Goa visit last minute. He will now come for Carnival”, claimed tourism minister Dilip Parulekar.

He also told that the helicopter service would start from tomorrow, not knowing from which helipads among the five ones identified by the Goa Tourism Development Corporation.

 Lobo and Fernandes, at a public meeting held at St Lawrenco Church, however have threatened to stop the helicopter service, if it starts near the historic Aguada fort.

GTDC has contracted out the helicopter joy rides for the tourists to Pawan Hans, the Govt of India undertaking, making them available five helipads – Sinquerim, Dabolim airport, Campal ground in Panaji, Ela Farm and Lalit Hotels in Canacona.

The private contractor however has only two helicopters, which would be pressed into service from tomorrow.


“I don’t know which helipads would be used to start the joy rides with these two helicopters”, said Parulekar.

The Saligao MLA-turned-minister dubs the opposition as purely political.

“No project starts in Goa without any opposition, no matter how good and beneficial it is”, he says.

The reasons his opponents have cited are sound pollution, dust pollution and disturbance to the local guest houses while Aguada fort is a heritage site.

Parulekar wonders how suddenly these issues have sprung up when the Sinquerim helipad is used for the last three decades without any problem to the locals.

“It was built during CHOGM retreat held in Goa”, recalls the minister.

But the local politicians today managed to mobilise over 250 people, including Candolim-Sinquerim Sarpanch Sandra Fiola, to oppose the helicopter service. is now on Telegram & also Youtube. Kindly subscribe for free & remain updated.

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Because we oppose not of anything but we not trust ours POLITICIAN!

- vicentin Rebello, uk | 01 st February 2016 00:36


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