Defense Expo, is Goa a permanent venue for it? New revelations may help shed some light on the question. The issue has been in the local media lime light for the past few months. The state has witnessed opposition from certain section of the Goan Society, in regards to the Def Expo 2016. But, the state government had maintained the land currently allotted was on temporary basis.
In answering to a question raised by Congress MLA Chandrakant ‘Babu’ Kavlekar, State Industries Minister Mahadev Naik responded by tabling documents that contained a letter. The letter was written by IDC Managing Director S V Naik, to the Department of Defence Procurement of the Defence Ministry.
Contents of the letter stated, in a board meeting (344th) held on July 15, 2015 by State government run Industrial Developmental Corporation (IDC) had decided to grant in- principle approval for allotment of and at Quittol. The Land measuring 150 acres for the purpose of organizing Def Expo and Aero (India) show on permanent basis.
Def expo 2016 was moved to Goa due to its original venue; Pragati Maidan in Delhi is under renovation. Although there have been suggestion from the current Defence Minister himself that land be allotted on permanent basis to host Def Expo and Aero (India) show in Goa.
Primary reasons cited were that both the events have grown significantly over the years. The current venues (in Delhi and Bangalore respectively) cannot meet the needs of the program. Some problems faced in case of Aero (India) show are poor access to the venue, congestion around it and disruption in functioning of Bengaluru airport. While in case of Pragati Maidan the heavy machinery ended up damaging the infrastructure, causing additional cost to the organizer.
A committee was set up to look for alternative venues for Aero (India) show. Goa was recommended. The Defence Minister even requested in a letter written to the State government. The letter stated that Government of Goa may consider allotting 150 acres of land on the coastline which can accommodate 10,000 feet runway, so that a permanent venue for conducting Def Expo and Aero (India) Show can be set up.