Goa Congress resolves to oppose controversial rail, road expansion, power project

Girish Chodankar
Goa Congress chief Girish Chodankar

Panaji, Nov 7: Upping the tempo against three upcoming central government projects in the protected forests in and around Mollem village in South Goa, the Goa Congress on Saturday passed resolutions against the rail track doubling, national highway expansion and a 400 KVA power project.

The resolutions were passed at a largely attended meeting of Congress party workers as well as green activists, who alleged that the three projects were being executed to develop a coal corridor from Goa’s Mormugao Port Trust to steel mills in Karnataka’s Bellary district.

“This meeting resolves to oppose the plans to set up a coal hub in Goa to stack up coal for meeting the requirement of coal based industries in other states,” a written resolution passed at the public meeting said.

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“We oppose the laying of railway double tracks from Vasco-da-Gama to Hospet, meant only to transport coal from Mormugao Port Trust to various industries situated in the neigbouring Karnataka, Maharashtra and other States causing serious health hazards to the people of Goa,” the resolution also said.

The meeting was attended by top Congress leaders including former Chief Ministers Digambar Kamat, Luizinho Faleiro, Pratapsingh Rane, Francisco Sardinha, among others top state level dignitaries of the Opposition party.

In the meeting, the Congress party also resolved “to continue its participation in all the protests, agitations to preserve the environment, forest and wildlife of the State”.

Nearly 50,000 trees located in and around Mollem village are slotted for felling for the multiple central government projects which includes expansion of railway lines and highways and drawing of a new high tension power, spread across protected forests in and around Mollem village.

The projects have already been cleared by the National Wildlife Board for Wildlife in April this year.

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