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Official hints at making Goa permanent venue for Defexpo

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PANAJI (PTI): Speculations that Goa could be made permanent venue for holding the prestigious biennial Defexpo, being held outside Delhi for the first time, got a boost on Wednesday with a senior Defence official saying nobody will "regret" hosting such show in the coastal state.

"Goa will be indebted if something like this keeps on happening on regular basis," DefExpo Director M D Singh told reporters here without stating clearly whether the coastal state will be made the permanent host for the show.

Goa is the home state of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Defexpo India 2016, the ninth in the series of biennial Land, Naval and Internal Homeland Security Systems Exhibition, is being held outside Delhi for first time.

"This is a clean and green show. The cream crowd from across the world has come here. Nobody will regret hosting this show here," he said.

Singh said the hotels are filled during the expo despite it happening during the lean tourism season.

"Taxis are fully booked. I am finding difficulty to find a taxi. Next time, we will have it in more systematic way," the Director said.

The four-day event was inaugurated by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday.

The expo faced opposition from certain quarters in Goa earlier with the agitators fearing the land at Betul-Naqueri would be handed over to the Defence Ministry.

However, the BJP-led state government later clarified the structures installed on the land were only temporary.

Singh said the infrastructure for expo was created within a record time. "We were handed over the land on March 7 and on March 28 we inaugurated the show. This is a world record in itself," the director said.

A rocky plateau at Betul-Naqueri in South Goa which was acquired to set up an industrial estate has been a home for the Defexpo.

On the concluding day of the event today, the live demonstration of aircraft and tankers would be made available for public display. The organisers have already announced the general public will be given free access to certain portions of the expo on the last day.

"There will be live demonstrations twice during the day (March 31), first one at 11 am and second at 3 pm," Singh said.

He said the locals should carry their photo identity cards, which they will have to produce at the entry gate.

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India  Defexpo  Goa  Exhibition  Military  
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