Goyant Kollso Naka has expressed shock as the Chief Minister continues to feign ignorance regarding the Government’s plans for coal transportation through Goa and related infrastructure and said he is fully aware or actively participating in the plans to make Goa a coal hub, as indicated by the following facts.
Antonio D’Silva, Abhijit Pabhudesai and Xavier Fernandes in a press release issued here said that they had written to the Chief Minister on 5 July 2020, 6 August 2020 and 9 October 2020 giving all the details and facts of the coal plans made by the Government, hence the CM cannot claim innocence.
“Also, when the Union Railways Minister had asked last year whether the railway double tracking for coal should be taken elsewhere because the people are not willing to give their lands, instead of taking the opportunity to get rid of coal, the Chief Minister himself suggested to the Union Government to invoke the Colonial provisions of the Railways Act to forcibly acquire the lands,” they said.
The release states that when the Environment Minister is on record on 59/2020 stating that he knows the coal plans, how can the CM claim ignorance?
“The Chief Minister has also chaired the Wildlife Board Meeting that cleared the three linear projects through Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary.
The CM also knows that the ex-CM Manohar Parrikar had rejected the double tracking of SWR stating that is only for few industrialists to transport coal. Huge infrastructure projects costing the Public Fachequer tens of thousands of crores are devastating the face of Goa only for coal transportation, yet he claims ignorance?,” they said.
GKN said the Chief Minister has asked for a month to study coal plans, but has not stopped the ongoing infrastructure works, indicating that he is only buying time to continue with the coal plans.
GKN demands that all the ongoing coal infrastructure works and plans, including double tracking of SWR must be immediately stopped by the Chief Minister in view of his ignorance
GKN also reiterates the non-negotiable demands laid down by the people of Goa, which must be accepted by the Chief Minister.
“The GKN wants CM to stop coal transportation through MPT. MPT must immediately prepare a time bound plan to stop ongoing coal transportation through MPT and to use MPT instead for cruise tourism. green cargoes and other commodities. Also, remove the rivers of Goa from the Schedule to the National Waterways Act, 2016. The inclusion of our rivers in the Schedule earmarks them for shipping, thus allowing the coal plans to continue unhindered. The
inclusion of our rivers in this Schedule is unconstitutional, illegal and anti people, since our rivers have belonged to our village communities since thousands of years,” the demanded.
The GKN also demanded that all clearances granted be cancelled and stop all the ongoing activities related to the construction of the double tracking of SWR, NH4-A, NH-17B and 400 kV Transmission Lines, to drop land acquisition proceedings for SWR, to drop all MPT expansion plans, and to stop all project for capital dredging and construction of jetties in our rivers.
“To recognize the rights of the indigenous communities over the rivers and coasts along their villages and to exclude the lands and waters of Goa fully from the Major Port Authorities Bill 2020. The control over our rivers, bays, riverbanks and coasts must remain with the indigenous communities. and all authorities must be bound by the decisions of the village communities, who own the rivers and coasts of Goa,” they said.
GKN states that the people’s movement will not rest until all the above non negotiable demands are met.
GKN further demands that all ongoing works and waste of Public Funds must be stopped immediately, especially the double tracking being constructed in gross violation of the orders of the Railways Board dated 28/7/2020.
GKN also demands that all the clearances granted by the State Government for the MPT expansion projects and the three liner projects through our Western Ghats must be cancelled immediately.