Cortalim MLA Alina Saldanha along with villagers of Cansaulim, Pale, Velsao and Issorcim strongly objected the proposed double tracking of South Western Railway (SWR).
Saldanha along with residents of Cortalim who reside along the existing railway track of SWR met the deputy collector and sub divisional magistrate Mormugao and cleared their stand to oppose doubling of railway tracks.
The meeting was attended by district collector South Ajit Ro, deputy collector and sub divisional magistrate Mormugao Paresh Faldessai, SWR authorities and others.
After having a marathon discussion, SWR officials disclosed that they would not take up the case if the issue of double tracking is opposed by the people.
Cortalim MLA Saldanha said the proposed doubling of tracks would destroy houses of people, some of which are heritage houses in Cansaulim.
“There will be noise pollution with the increase in frequency of trains and more so, there will be dust pollution causing serious health problems”, disclosed Saldanha.
“We have shown the site plan and all other aspects of the double tracking, but the people are objecting to our proposal. We will not force the project on them”, said SWR official M N Naik and further maintained that SWR will follow the new act wherein they can acquire land only with the consent of landowners.
Meanwhile, the Goenchea Ramponkarancho Ekvott (GRE) and Goa Against Coal (GAC) has strongly opposed the procurement of land at Cansaulim, Pale, Issorsim, Majorda, Dabolim, Chicalim and Vasco for the purpose of double tracking between Margao and Vasco.
GRE vice president Olencio Simoes said that the officials of the South Western Railway (SWR) and Goa government have failed to give satisfactory reasons for doubling of the railway track. He said that there are several ancestral houses lying in the proposed alignment of the railway track which are over 450-years old.
“Due to constant and high frequency of trains these houses have developed cracks, leading to destruction of ancestral houses, properties, livelihoods of the traditional fisherman, impacting fields of the traditional farmers”, he added. He alleged that the doubling of the railway track would only benefit Mormugao Port Trust and other companies, leading to a hazardous situation.
Simoes threatened to hold a massive agitation, if the concerned authorities fail to drop the proposed doubling of railway tracks between Margao and Vasco railway stations in the interest of the public.