In a major win for the people’s movement on the double tracking issue, the Supreme Court upheld the recommendation of the Central Empowered Committee and cancelled the NBWL clearance. It asked the railways to re-apply.
Goencho Ekvott, one of the movements who have been vociferous on the agitation welcomed the verdict of the Supreme Court and dedicated the victory to the late Julio Aguair who the vice chairman and the people of Goa.
GE stated that central government has forced these disastrous projects since the double tracking is exclusively built for the transportation of hazardous coal from Indonesia, Mozambique and Australia via Mormugao Port Authority (MPA) to the neighbouring steel Plants in Karnataka.
Joint Secretary of Goencho Ekvott Olencio Simoes stated that the doubling tracking is passing through the UNESCO site in Mollem wildlife sanctuary in the Western Ghats which is a Ecologically Sensitive Area that has already been declared by Dr. K. Kasturirangan in 2017 appointed by the central environment ministry.
These UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the eight hot-spots of biological diversity in the world and Goa is located in the central Western Ghats and bio-geographically an important area which Goa is heavily dependent for its rainfall.
Orville Dourado founder member of Goencho Ekvott stated that the government should for with scrap all the three linear projects in totality and immediately direct all departments to stop work on double tracking, scrap the land acquisition process and revert all acquired land for double tracking throughout Goa.
GE also warned that if RVNL and SWR violated any standing orders then the people of Goa will force to take law in hand as both these agency has continuously violated law.
GF Supremo hailed it as a win for Goa, tweeted, ‘The hon #SupremeCourt’s decision is what every #Goemkar wished and prayed for, and it’s a reward for their relentless and determined opposition to projects that deface #Goa, destroy the environment and disrupt our fragile ecosystems. It’s #Goa that has won!’
Another voice, behind the agitation, Dabolim Congress leader Viriato said all organizations came together, youth force created an awareness. “They arrested me and Fr Bolmax. This shows the Govt was working for the crony capitalists. This is a victory for the youth and Goa.”
MLA Cuncolim, Yuri Alemao, welcomed the Supreme Court directive of cancelling the NBWL clearance granted for Railway Double Tracking and confirming CEC recommendation
Panchayat Minsiter, Mauvin Godinho, didn’t make too much of the decision and confident that it’ll be cleared said, “In Goa, nowadays, anything you undertake, some people become hyper about certain things. In the normal course of functioning some decisions may come in your favour others not. SC has said you can reapply, observing and adhering to certain things. So it’ll be cleared again. You have to read in between the lines.”