Hubbali: The South Westwrn Railway said that double trqcking in Goa will result in boom in comprehensive and sustainable development of the region in an environment friendly way.
Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat, met P K Mishra, Additional General Manager, SWR today at Rail Soudha, Headquarters of South Western Railway and submitted a memorandum reg. doubling in State of Goa.
Kamat expressed apprehensions on impact of proposed doubling of Railway track between Castle Rock to Vasco-da-gama. Shri P K Mishra has explained that the project is being taken up basically to improve connectivity to the State of Goa from Southern States. He has informed that during the conception of original Railway line itself, the same was planned to be broad gauge with double line but had to be modified to meter gauge and single line because of the compatibility with Castle Rock to Bellary Railway line being done in British India.
He quoted that the same was mentioned in treaty of Lisbon signed in 1878 between Indian Governments of Portuguese and Britain.
Mishra categorically stated that the thrust now is on switching over to clean, non-conventional sources of energy and the decline in modal share of coal as source of energy is clearly evident from the volumes being transported over last two years.
He said that future belongs to and is defined by usage of non conventional sources of energy.
“Government is actively advocating reduction in usage of coal and more so imported coal,” he said.
He also told that in Goa, cap on amount of coal that can be handled at Mormugao Port Trust already exists, being environmentally conscious State. Hence the question of transporting more coal after doubling doesn’t arise.
Mishra has given the technical limitations of present railway line especially in the Braganza ghat section, that because of Safety considerations, certain restrictions are in place that are severely decreasing the sectional capacity to run trains.
On being asked about the impact of the project on ecology by way of cutting of trees, he stated that Railways has been committed to the cause of environment and will continue to exercise utmost caution to ensure that least number of trees are affected.
He also informed that study of Environment Impact Assessment has been done, by involving independent agency – IISC and accordingly alignment of proposed double track will be decided.
“Above all, any project can be taken up only with clearance of State Government and cooperation of elected representatives,” he assured.
The benefits of the proposed doubling particularly in the state of Goa have been explained to MLA Shri Digambar Kamat and Mishra has assured that the genuine concerns in the execution of work will be addressed and resolved suitably before commencing the work.
It was further informed that no new area is being considered.
“Only an additional track next to the existing line is being laid and it is not going to make any new impact on ecology. So railway is just adding on existing route only within railway land is being planned,” he said.
“Similar works have already been undertaken and completed in other parts of country including North Eastern States. And whole population is now benefitting out of the same and Goa shall not be left behind. It will result in boom in comprehensive and sustainable development of the region in an environment friendly way as Railway is most energy efficient and most carbon neutral of all modes of transport,” Mishra said.
Girish Chodankar, Mahendra H Singhi, social activist have accompanied Digambar Kamat.