Why grab land for DefExpo when Navy has vacant land at Cavelossim, Mr Parrikar?


Part view of vacant Naval land at Cavelossim beach

Why is the defence ministry searching for an alternate land to make Goa a permanent venue of Defence Expo when it has its own land right opposite the Quitol plateau?

Investigation conducted by goanews.com has revealed that a huge tract of land owned by Indian Navy is laying vacant right on the Cavelossim beach in Salcete taluka.

This land, approximately over seven lakh square metres, is situated at Tambori waddo of Cavelossim village.

Goa government has acquired around six lakh square metres of plateau of Quitol, surrounding Fatorpa and Betul villages, to organise the ongoing 9th edition of DefExpo, held in Goa for the first time.

The villagers of Naqueri-Betul are however up in arms against the DefExpo because the land would remain vacant for 700 days – almost two years – if the four-day biennial mega event here.

The land, originally acquired for a Food Park, was later marked for an industrial estate by the Goa Industrial Development Corporation.

This had raised hopes of the people of neglected villages of Betul, Fatorpa, Khanguinim, Khola etc of getting jobs in the industrial estate.  

With the opposition rising, it appears that Goa government has made up its mind to shift DefExpo from Betul.


The Google Earth image shows that the Naval land at Cavelossim

is right opposite Quitol plateau in Betul

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has even publicly announced that it would be shifted to Keri in Ponda or any other suitable place.

Villagers of Cavelossim however feel that the naval land right on the beach could be an appropriate place to hold DefExpo since it does not require to acquire additional land for DefExpo.

Many NGOs had also termed DefExpo as a land-grabbing exercise of defence ministry under the guise of DefExpo.

The defence ministry was also planning to shift Aero Show, yet another biennial event, from Bengaluru to Goa, at Quitol plateau, but changed its mind later.

The reports stated that the same plateau was chosen because they wanted to hold it near the sea.

According to locals of Cavelossim, this prime land along the coast (as seen in the photo) is in possession of the Indian Navy since mid-70s, for ‘target practicing.’

The practice takes place only twice a year for seven days each, villagers told goanews.com, once in October and then in April.

It also includes dummy bombing, for which pyramids have been erected inside the property as targets, disclose the villagers.

There is also a helipad built inside, they reveal. 


Goa Govt land records shows the vacant Naval land as ‘Restricted Area’

As no other activity takes place in this land, Navy auctions cashew plantations for plucking cashew fruits and distilling cashew Urrac and Feni.

The land is right opposite Quitol plateau, across the Sal River, where most of Goa’s five star hotels are lined up.

Since most of the Indian and foreign delegates of DefExpo are staying put in these five star resorts, villagers feel holding DefExpo in this land would also facilitate the delegates while reducing traffic pressure on Margao-Balli road of NH17.

Parrikar, as Goa’s chief minister and also the opposition leader, had always criticised the defence ministry acquiring huge area of land in Goa.

As this land is left vacant for 350 days in a year, will Parrikar as defence minister consider utilising its own land rather than acquiring additional land of Goa, which he was always opposed to?

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