MARGAO: The Railways ambitious project of double tracking the South Western Railway track from Vasco to the Goa border has hit a snag as the Goa government is yet to hand over the land to the railway authorities.
It may be recalled that around 10.5 hectares of land was sought to be acquired for the double tracking of the railway line in the villages of Collem, Calem, Santona, Sanvordem, Curchorem, Xic-Xelvona, Assolda, Chandor, Guirdolim, Sao Jose de Areal and Davorlim as presently double tracking will be done only from Goa border to Margao railway station.
The talathis who were given the task of obtaining the consent from the owners of the land have been facing difficulties in tracing the owners as the original owners have died and their heirs have become the owners and contacting the heirs is proving time consuming as many have migrated to foreign countries.
The village wise land sought to be acquired by the railways is Collem – 5173 sq mts, Calem – 22775 sq mts, Santona – 5309 sq mts, Sanvordem – 6930 sq mts, Curchorem -- sq mts, Xic-Xelvona – 920 sq mts, Assolda – 3720 sq mts, Chandor – 4843 sq mts, Guirdolim – 23490 sq mts, St Jose de Areal – 3425 sq mts and Davorlim – 8815 sq mts.
It is learnt that owners of around 5 hectares of land have given their consent which is just half the land that is required and the railway authorities are now hoping that the new policy wherein land owners are promised incentive in terms of increased FAR for giving land to the government will entice the owners to give their consent.
However, even as the possession of land is awaited the Rail Vikas Nigam Limited is marching ahead with the project and has already constructed 10 minor bridges of the 60 proposed in the project. Besides, they have also commenced work on four of the six major bridges.
The piling work has been completed in the four major bridges and even the pier has been laid and two of these bridges where the work is done are between Chandor and Curchorem. In fact RVNL seems to have completed most of the work in Chandor sector as two minor bridges have also been constructed and this was possible because the land was already in its possession.
While the cost of laying the double track in the Ghat area commencing from Castle Rock is estimated to cost Rs 1000 crore, the Kollem to Margao sector is estimated at Rs 250 crore and Margao to Vasco is pegged at Rs 200 crore.