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Watch: 9 trains a day, 3,800 tonnes coal in each – what the toxic train leaves in Goa

Every two hours on average, a freight train pulls out of Mormugao Port, 6 km from Vasco. Each of its 58 wagons is covered with blue tarpaulin, the edges of which flap in the breeze, revealing what lies underneath — about 65,000 kg of coal, the toxic black dust hanging in the air like a shroud over each wagon. The Indian Express tracked over a dozen such trains up to the Goa border — except for a 5-km stretch where access was denied during the monsoon because of the presence of a waterfall. And found that each train gouges out a thick black line (see map below) starting from the port at the western tip, dipping south around Velsao, snaking up from Sanvordem, crossing the Zuari river network, villages around Chandor, paddy fields, indigenous habitats in Majorda, cashew and coconut orchards, and fragile forests before reaching Kulem just short of the Western Ghats.

[jwplayer ZBNTw9ha-xe0BVfqu] Every two hours on average, a freight train pulls out of Mormugao Port, 6 km from Vasco. Each of its 58 wagons is covered with blue tarpaulin, the edges of which flap in the breeze, revealing what lies underneath — about 65,000 kg of coal, the toxic black dust hanging in the air like a shroud over each wagon. The Indian Express tracked over a dozen such trains up to the Goa border — except for a 5-km stretch where access was denied during the monsoon because of the presence of a waterfall. And found that each train gouges out a thick black line (see map below) starting from the port at the western tip, dipping south around Velsao, snaking up from Sanvordem, crossing the Zuari river network, villages around Chandor, paddy fields, indigenous habitats in Majorda, cashew and coconut orchards, and fragile forests before reaching Kulem just short of the Western Ghats.

  1. Vijay Rajpal
    Oct 26, 2017 at 6:42 pm
    The pollution is real and dangerous however without coal growth is not possible - till the time alternative options have scaled up. There is simple solution to all this issue - since all wagons are of same size Indian railways / Wagon manufacturer can build sliding gates wagon where 25 of the length of Wagon is closed from both ends and and at middle two sliding doors opening and making 50 of wagon open to load from top. Just make mandate like transporting fuel we have tank-wagons for cement we have specific wagons so for coal - lets get such wagons without which Indian Railways should not transport coal. The top cover make not be made of steal/iron - could be made out of s y recycled plastic - which will be easy to handle and manage.
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