The Indian Navy is well on the course of acquiring over 30 lakh sq m of land in Mormugao taluka and has already obtained in-principle clearance in that regard from the government of India’s defence ministry. The naval authorities are now pursuing the matter with the state government for acquiring three islands, known as St George islands, and Bimbvel beach.
St George islands, located some 2.5 km from Vasco, are close to the Dabolim airport runway. Of the three islands one is already in possession of the defence ministry, while Bimbvel beach is located in the vicinity of INS Hansa. As per records accessed by TOI, the three isles constituting the St George islands bear survey numbers 1/1 admeasuring 52,875 sq m, 2/0 admeasuring 27,85,250 sq m and 5/0 admeasuring 1,36,125 sq m. While the first two are owned by private parties, the third is under the defence ministry’s control.
The Indian Navy has propounded “safety reasons” as the purpose for acquiring the lands and has already conducted an aerial reconnaissance of the area along with South Goa collectorate’s revenue officials. Interestingly, South Goa collector G P Naik, when contacted, feigned ignorance about any proposal to acquire any land by the Indian Navy. “Nothing has come to me yet,” Naik told The Times of India when contacted. This, when Indian Navy authorities asserted that the two islands are indeed being sought for acquisition from a security point of view and that the proposal is pending with the south Goa collector.