People of Goa are coming together on the streets to protest against three major infrastructure projects by the government that includes expansion of the southwestern railway tracks, which they claim will cause inevitable damage to the fragile ecosystem of the state.
As per the Indian Express, the projects will lead to the diversion of 170 hectares of protected area in forest land in the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and its core notified area, Mollem National Park.
GOA: A COAL TRANSPORTATION HUB
As per the Sabarimala documents, Goa has planned to carry about 137 million tonnes of coal and, the government is looking to speed up the transportation process by introducing three major infrastructure projects, one of which is doubling the southwestern railway tracks. If the projects go ahead, they would require the cutting down of thousands of trees.
Second is the expansion of Mormugo Port Trust (MPT), which is one of the oldest ports in India. Adani and Jindal SWL, in partnership with Vedanta, plan to double the coal-handling capacity of the port. The imported coal will be transported to the steel plants in Karnataka via Goa. From 12 Million tonnes in 2015-2016, they plan to up it by 26 million tonnes. The project will harm the existing marine life.
One thing is clear that if the project gets implemented, it is going to cost the natural ecology of Goa, as per a report by The Wire. “Save The Western Ghats” an article published by The Hindu, explored these issues back in 2019.
The promises of sustainable development will remain only in papers and speeches.