VASCO: In a major announcement made by the South Western Railway officials, no houses will be affected by the doubling project, and the Railways will move the tracks on the eastern side to save houses along the track.
The announcement was made after Cortalim MLA Anton Vas, along with locals and railway officials, visited the affected areas in parts of Velsao and Cansaulim and also inspected various sites for the proposed underpass at Cansualim on Monday morning
Senior railway officials said that the Cortalim MLA Anton Vas had called the railways and the sarpanch and members of the Cansaulim panchayat for a site inspection of the underpass at Cansaulim.
“The MLA Anton Vas has told us that there are many objections and he has also given us some suggestions to resolve the issue for the benefit of the locals. We are examining the suggestions and considering sites for constructing an underpass at Cansaulim. We are also planning to take the tracks on the eastern side, which is on the opposite side, so as to save the structures coming along the tracks. We will now have no structures that will be touched after we will take the tracks on the platform side,” said the official.
Speaking to the media, Cortalim MLA Anton Vas said that he had met the affected villagers
“I met the villagers affected by double tracking with the railway authorities, and I heard their difficulties. Many people demanded to retain walls, bypass roads and improve drainage among other issues. I insisted to the railways that we need to discuss the issues and have another meeting to resolve the issues by offering solutions. People in Cansaulim want an underpass while some want an overbridge and I will meet the Railways and work out a feasible solution. As of now the Railways have said that they will try and align the tracks and shift the tracks on the eastern side, and in case this happens, they say that none of the houses will be affected and it will result in saving of a minimum of three houses along the tracks ” said Vas.
Cansaulim Sarpanch Savio Periera said that an underpass was the need of the hour.
“Many people have to move to the other sides, and many times, students and old citizens have to move from under the trains on the tracks while going to school or a mass in the church. We are glad that our MLA Anton Vas has coordinated with the Railways and the panchayat body to take up the long pending demand of having an underpass at Cansaulim so that the lives of the people are not endangered. We are trying to propose an underpass at two vital locations in the village,” said Pereira.
Former Velsao Panch Roquezinho D’Souza said that many people had been injured and even died while crossing the tracks.
” It has been over 50 years that the locals have been demanding an underpass but no one took up the issue. The MLA Anton Vas then took a meeting to find a solution and we are having a site inspection. I only urge the local leaders not to instigate the people and misguide them because the Railways have also shown plans to change the tracks so that peoples compound walls and houses are not affected . We also appeal the people to approach the MLAs office directly and put forth their issues and i can assure that our MLA Anton Vas will find some feasible solution to resolve the inconvenience of the people. We have also met a lot of villagers who are affected by the tracking works but sometimes they fear the local landlords and some local leaders are instigating them against the people trying to find a solution. Some landlords are waiting for a good rate for compensation whil trying to raise the issue politically . We are not for double tracking and we are also opposing coal pollution but ther is a solution for all the issues. We have now asked the MLA Anton Vas to suggest that this stretch be made no horn zone so that the railways don’t horn and people can sleep peacefully . We have also suggested that the speed of the railways be reduced to curtail vibration and also prevent overloading of wagons to reduce coal pollution . There are many corner stones of the Railways indicating that it is their property and we urge the people and the landlords not to simply create a dispute and put people in trouble . They can approach the MLA instead so that an amicable solution is drawn in coordination with the railways. I again challenge the local leaders to prove that the lands have been encroached by the Railways and we will stop the works if they cannot by going to the courts if encroachment is proved. ” Said D’Souza