CM hardsells three linear projects

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Chief Minister Pramod Sawant unveils the plaque marking inauguration of the newly constructed foot overbridge at the Curchorem railway station on Sunday.

Curchorem : Going for the hard sell of the three controversial linear projects, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Sunday maintained that the government is making preparations to set up infrastructure which will be required for the next 50 years.

Speaking after inaugurating the new foot overbridge at the Curchorem railway station and railway subways at Kamral and Khandiwada, he said  the state government is firm on going ahead with the three linear projects proposed in dense forests of the Western Ghats – electricity transmission line,  double tracking and national highway expansion.

The projects have been strongly opposed by environmentalists, activists and other Goans. 

“A handful of self-motivated people are opposing the projects. When the same party rules at the Centre and in the state, then development picks up pace,” he said, adding that the Centre has allocated Rs 300 crore to Goa to celebrate 60 years of  Goa’s Liberation. 

The Centre is eager to support the state in its pursuit of development in Goa. The required compensation will be given to the people who will be affected by the double-tracking project. The railways will take up necessary rehabilitation of oustees of the double-tracking project, he said. 

Sawant claimed that the double-tracking project is not aimed at coal transportation expansion. On the contrary, the project will facilitate transportation of commodities, pharma export and import, and will fillip tourism activities.

Later, the Chief Minister told media persons that railway projects are not materialising due to the lack of coordination between the railway authorities and the state government, adding that railway authorities want the affected people to approach the railway board with their demand, and they should not stage agitations.

“I have personally visited some places in Goa where there has been opposition to the double-tracking project. I have assured redressal of people’s grievances. We should be ready to compromise if we want development,” he remarked.

Power Minister Nilesh Cabral, PWD Minister Deepak Pauskar, Rajya Sabha MP Vinay Tendulkar, general manager of South Western Railways Vijay Kumar Singh and others were present on the occasion.

Cabral and Pauskar extolled the benefits of all projects.

The Powe Minister said, “People of Curchorem are fully supporting the IIT project in Goa. We will welcome IIT if the project is set up in our area.”

In his welcome address, Ajay Kumar Singh dwelled upon various aspects of the double-tracking project.