The Defexpo festival commonly known as biennial land and naval and homeland security exhibition will be hosted by the coastal state of India in the year 2018. Chief Minister, Manhora Parrikar confirmed the same recently. He also said that the state is planning to build a permanent venue for the festival and that this will help in strengthening the bond with the defence ministry.
Parrikar said while speaking to the media in Calangute, “The defence expo 2018 will be in Goa. That is a decision of this edition, which has nothing to do with the other proposal to have a permanent venue in Goa. That we will discuss with them and with the local MLA and the local people”.
For building a permanent venue for the festival, the ministry of defence has requested the state government for providing 200 acres of land along Goa’s coastal belt to set up a permanent venue for Defexpo and Aero India. The letter was written by Goa chief secretary Dharmendra Sharma, the ministry of defence to the state government. The Union Ministry is also considering to put in place a modern exhibition-cum-convention centre on the allotted land.
The biennial air show and aviation exhibition, in present time is being held in Yelahanka Air Force Station, Bengaluru and the Union Ministry is keen to move the venue of the same to Goa. In order to identify alternative venues for the event, a committee was set-up in the year 2012 as told by the Defence secretary Ashok Kumar Gupta in a letter to the state government. Gupta said, “The committee, after going through all the merits and demerits, recommended Goa as a suitable venue for future defence shows. Goa, being a popular tourist destination, has an added advantage for hosting such shows.”
Parrikar said that though they are hoping to get land for the venue but in an event of not getting the land, then the Goa industrial development corporation and the defence ministry shall join hands and a new way will be devised. “It (land) will not be given to defence, it will be a joint venture between Goa industrial development corporation and the defence ministry. This is a concept, which is yet to be decided,” Parrikar said.
If the state of Goa gets to host the event and a permanent venue could be built, then this will also be a good news in terms of revenue for the government as it will drive even more tourists to the state. This was also pointed out by Parrikar, “I feel that the property can be developed into a very good exposition ground, not only for defence, but also for various other exposition from which we can get lots of business. I have yet to decide. This is under my consideration. Once I know or once I get details from them, then I will be able to decide. After that we will consider it.”
The permanent venue will also aid in providing employment to the locals and hence become a major source of revenue and development for the state. Many sectors like cab services, catering, function planners will get a boost. “If it is permanent then locals will get employment. The type of employment in which locals can work catering services, taxi services, etc… will be considered only after proper discussion,” the chief minister said.