VASCO: Chicalim Youth Farmers club (CYFC), a group of over 100 youth from different parts of Goa has opposed three linear projects – railway double tracking, expansion of national highway and transmission of power lines through Western Ghats.

Addressing a press conference at the Chicalim Panchayat hall, the CYFC said that they will bring together youth from across Goa to voice their concerns against these projects because they felt cheated by the government.

CYFC said that they will be forced to come on the roads to oppose the work of ongoing projects and warned that they will work against the ruling party in the next Assembly elections.

The CYFC also demanded that Assembly session be convened to discuss the three projects and to offer more clarity and to allay apprehensions of the people.

Valerie Alphonso said that the three projects were destructive in nature. She said that all the three projects were linked to coal transportation. The power transmission lines through forest area was for electrical trains carrying coal along the elevated Castlerock region.

Another youth Neola Pereira said that in the Sagarmala project initially lot of jobs were to be given to youth but these projects were destructive in nature and hence were opposed by the youth. She said that the government must not lie to the youth and withdraw the these projects and also the land acquisition in Velsao village. Pereira also demanded that the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and police deployed in some of the villages be withdrawn.

Mauvin Pereira said that some youth had met Power Minister Nilesh Cabral and alleged that they were threatened and told that they would not be given government jobs, cases would be registered and their passports would be held back.

Pereira warned that the youth will not fall prey to such threats and continue to oppose the projects for the love of their land.

Another youth Conchita Moteiro said that the youth had been terribly hurt with the government and that the national bank had started financing the companies handling coal despite incidents of some of such company officials looting and leaving the country with crores of rupees.

Maxson Fernandes, a youth from Davorlim said that the Railway Police had started filing cases against protestors and questioned why the government had no faith on Goa Police. He said that during elections the candidates lure youth to support them and after elections leave them in the lurch.