MARGAO: The Goyant Kollso Naka (GKN), the people’s movement to stop coal transportation in Goa, on Saturday alleged that plans are made and being implemented to make Goa a coal hub for the private corporations wanting to build massive power and steel plants in Karnataka.
The movement headed by Convenor Antonio D’Silva, Co-Convenor Abhijit Pabhudesai and several others said that they have studied the Sagarmala and Bharatmala programmes, MPT’s Master Plan, National Waterways Act, 2016; Right to Fair Compensation Act, 2013; Railways Act, 1989 and RP 2021 and Inland Waterways Authority Act, 1985.
"We have also studied the ongoing coal transportation infrastructure works in the State, including the double tracking of Vasco-Hubli railway tracks, which has enraged all Goans.
“Our studies shockingly reveal that not only have the politicians of Goa kept the people of the State in the dark about this diabolic plan that will affect all of us, but are actively encouraging and taking part in this blatant attack on Goa and Goans,” alleged Convenor D’Silva.
“This is betrayal, not just of the people of Goa, but also the future generations and our environment, by the decision to allow railway double tracking and highway construction through Mahavir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in the Western Ghats, only for profits of private corporations. The Wildlife Board meeting minutes reveal that this devastation was approved by Manohar Parrikar, Rajendra Arlekar and Ganesh Gaonkar in the meeting held in 2016, and by Pramod Sawant, Pratapsingh Rane, Alina Saldanha and Prasad Gaonkar in 2019,” informed the GKN.
“There is a plan to convert Zuari, Mandovi and Cumbharjua Rivers into shipping channels for transportation of massive amounts of coal, thus displacing the villagers living along the rivers of Goa. If the rivers of Goa are converted into shipping channels, the very essence of Goa will be destroyed permanently,” the GKN further said.
“The people of Goa therefore need to fight this battle unitedly, as a people’s movement. GKN has full faith in the people of Goa and we are certain that every person will come out to stop the double tracking to ensure that the future generations and the State of Goa are saved from the coal transportation plans of the big corporations,” said Prabhudesai.