Panaji, Oct 31 (IANS) The Goa Congress Legislature Party (CLP) on Saturday resolved to back agitations against three Central government projects related to the railways, national highways and the power sector affecting the protected forest areas in Goa. The CLP said the projects would cause “mass destruction to the environment and identity of Goa”.
“The Goa CLP meeting on Saturday discussed the three projects proposed by the Central government which includes railway double-tracking, widening of National Highway 4A and laying a power transmission line. This will harm the environment as all the projects passed through the ‘Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife sanctuary’ and ‘Mollem National Park’ in Goa. These projects will affect the wildlife, forest and the identity of Goa,” said Goa Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat after the meeting.
“The CLP unanimously resolved to extend full support to the people’s protests and agitations raising concerns about the mass destruction of the environment and identity of Goa. The CLP also decided to actively participate in the protests with people,” Kamat added.
Former Goa Chief Minister and sitting Congress MLA, Pratapsingh Rane told reporters that Goa already had two railway lines passing through the state which was more than enough to facilitate passenger transport in the state.
“Goa already has two railway lines. One is the old railways — South Western Railway and other is the Konkan Railway. It is more than sufficient for a small state such as Goa which is half the size of a district in other states,” Rane said.
Nearly 50,000 trees in the Western Ghats region of Goa are slotted for felling to facilitate the three projects spread across the protected forests in and around Mollem village located in the Western Ghats region.
The projects have already been cleared by the National Board for Wildlife in April 2020.
The electricity project is aimed towards drawing 400 KVA power lines from Karnataka and construction of a substation, which will connect the southern and western power grids and enhance power quality in Goa.