GOA: After a large group of children met chief minister Pramod Sawant on Sunday with a plea to stop coal transportation through Goa and to scrap the double-tracking of the South Western Railway route, he assured them that coal handling capacity at the Mormugao port would be reduced by more than half the present level within a year, but that it wasn’t possible for him to stop any Centre-funded infrastructure project abruptly.
He however vowed not to allow destruction of the Mollem forest. “As long as I am the state’s chief minister, I will not allow Mollem to be destroyed,” he told the children. “I am as concerned about Mollem as you all are, if not more.”
Sawant told the children not to mix double-tracking and coal, as the track doubling project wasn’t aimed at facilitating only coal transportation. “If we totally stop coal handling, will there be opposition to double-tracking?” he asked the children. When a girl told Sawant that the existing single track was sufficient for Goa’s small population, Sawant told her, “I have raised the concern of the people with railways minister Piyush Goyal. If you tell me to stop the project, can it be done? He (Goyal) said we’ll re-study the project.”
The News24 Goa