Goa Cong opposes 3 central projects on K'taka border

Goa Congress opposes 3 central projects on Karnataka border

Activists claim that the projects are aimed at facilitating increased transportation of coal from Goa’s Mormugao Port Trust to the steel mills in Karnataka

In what could be a shot in the arm for civil society groups campaigning against three upcoming central government projects, fearing increased transportation of coal through the protected forest areas along the Goa-Karnataka border, the Congress legislature party on Saturday, unanimously resolved to support the popular protests.  

After the CLP meeting, Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat said that the three projects which deal with the rail, road, and power sector, were environmentally disastrous for Goa and an attack on the state’s unique identity, and the CLP has resolved to oppose them.

“The CLP unanimously resolved to extend full support to the people’s agitations raising concerns about the mass destruction to the environment and identity of Goa. The CLP also decided to actively participate in the protests and agitations with people,” Kamat, a former Chief Minister said. 

In the meeting, the five Congress MLAs in the state, led by Kamat, had deliberated about the three projects related to doubling of the railway tracks from Castle Rock railway station to Tinaighat station in Goa, the widening of the National Highway 4A and the drawing of a power line from Karnataka to Goa, which the CLP said would severely damage the environment, especially the forested areas in the Bhagwan Mahavir wildlife sanctuary and the Mollem national park. 

“The CLP has also expressed concerns about the threat to the wildlife and forests due to the said projects,” Kamat said. 

Around 50,000 trees in and around Mollem have been slotted for felling for three central government projects. The projects have already been cleared by the National Wildlife Board in April this year.

Activists claim that the projects are aimed at facilitating increased transportation of coal from Goa’s Mormugao Port Trust to the steel mills in Karnataka’s Ballari district.