THE Opposition in Goa Tuesday crossed over to Hubli in Karnataka to protest against the double tracking of South Western Railway in Goa. The delegation saw Congress leaders including Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat give a memorandum to the railway zonal authority.
“We came here to request the South Western Railways to scrap the track doubling. We also came to Hubbali to convey the sentiment of Goa regarding the project. The people are boiling in anger,” Kamat told reporters.
The railway track, which is expected to connect the steel and power plants in Karnataka to the port in Goa, has seen opposition with Goans staging a candlelit protest in Chandor, south of Goa.
Kamat said Goa is a destination for tourists. “They do not want to come to Goa to see coal,” he added. The double tracking will see the railway line crossing from Karnataka through the Western Ghats – with protests by environment activists warning over 70,000 trees will be cut for three projects including expansion of roads and a power line.
A statement later issued by the zonal public relations office said, “P K Mishra, Additional General Manager. South western railway, has explained that the project is being taken up basically to improve connectivity to the State of Goa from Southern States… the question of transporting more coal after doubling doesn’t arise.”
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