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SWR to conduct safety inspection of newly laid double track in South Goa

The doubling of the railway track is among the three linear projects in Goa that have been opposed by environmentalists in the state.

The South Western Railway (SWR) Monday said that the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) will conduct the inspection of newly laid double line between Sanvordem – Chandorgoa – Margao Section, a 15.64 Km stretch, as a part of doubling of the railway track between Tinaighat-Vasco-da-Gama in South Goa on September 23.

It also said that the motor trolley inspection of CRS will start from Sanvordem at 10:15 am and from Madgaon at 5:30 pm on September 23.“Public are hereby cautioned not to trespass the track,” the SWR added.

“Speed trial at 120 kmph will be conducted on newly laid doubling track from 17:30 hrs to 18:00 hrs from Madgaon to Sanvordem/Curchorem…” the SWR said.

The doubling of the railway track is among the three linear projects in Goa that have been opposed by environmentalists in the state.

Raising serious environmental concerns, the Supreme Court’s Central Empowerment Committee (CEC) had, in April, shot down a key rail expansion project in Goa and recommended crucial changes to two other projects — a highway and a power transmission line — in the state.

These projects had been cleared by the Centre last year despite red-flags being raised at various levels since they would cut through the Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary (BMWS) and the Mollem National Park (MNP) in South Goa.

In its report dated April 23, the CEC said that it does not find any justification in doubling the railway track from Castle Rock in Karnataka to Kulem in Goa as it “will destroy the fragile eco-system of the Western Ghats, which is an internationally recognised Biodiversity hotspot and also one of the most important wildlife corridor of the country”.

Based on an application filed by Goa Foundation, the CEC had also recommended that the alignment of the Goa-Tanmar Transmission Project for lying of electric lines for additional 400 KV feed to Goa be redrawn and modified along the existing 220 KV line.

Goa Foundation’s advocate Norma Alvares said, “There are multiple fronts on which we are fighting. The CEC has examined the NBWL’s (National Board for Wild Life) approval for the (railway double tracking) project which, we had said, was given without application of mind for various reasons. The CEC has come out in our favour in that report but unless it is moved before the Supreme Court it would only remain a report. So we have moved the Supreme Court.” She said that the Goa Foundation had filed an interim application seeking a stay on the project. However, a date for its hearing has not been fixed.

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