panjim: In the midst of controversy around the three linear projects, particularly doubling of railway tracks, the South Western Railway (SWR) has stated that the project will facilitate local employment and easy travel besides bringing in more visitors to Goa via rail.
“Besides providing a long-term efficient solution for growth of MPT and handling of its cargo, it will also allow more number of passenger trains, better intrastate connectivity, boost to trade and commerce among adjoining States, increased tourist inflow, augmenting infrastructure at intermediate stations leading exponential increase in new job creation directly and indirectly,” said an official.
Goa is witnessing huge opposition to projects - Tamnar Transmission project, doubling of railway track project and the four-lane NH4A project between Anmod and Mollem with citizens, activists and various forums arguing that the government is facilitating coal transportation by felling of several thousand trees.
The official added that the new infrastructure projects are expected to generate the largest new job opportunities in the State within next two years. This assurance comes at a time when the government has announced that it will create around 50,000 new jobs by 2022.
The cabinet had last month also approved Chief Minister's Rojgar Yojana scheme for engineering pass-outs in a bid to boost self-employment. The scheme provides hands on experience to young Diploma/ Degree Engineers in execution of small works that would enable them to scale up their ability to participate in open tenders with this experience.
“It will also create the possibility of income growth for the community through direct and indirect employment opportunities,” the official added.
CM Pramod Sawant had assured that coal imports into Goa will be reduced phased wise and subsequently no coal will be allowed in Goa. The assurance has however not pacified the agitators.
“Goa needs infrastructure, but infrastructure development must be mindful of environmental damage and we need to act accordingly,” activist Ajay Deosthal said.
Alfred D’Souza, from North Goa said the double-tracking project was cleared during the then Congress rule, while adding that these infrastructure projects will create revenue; while Cuncolim resident Samir Nayak said the project will also improve inter-city connectivity.
Former Union minister Suresh Prabhu recently referred to creating job opportunities in Goa stating a logistics park can be developed without hampering the environment and added that it would create jobs in Goa.