Panaji: State power Minister Nilesh Cabral said that the entire movement against coal was unwarranted and was “politically motivated.”
“The movement against coal is politically motivated. There is no intention of the government to increase the coal handling capacity, rather than what it is existing in the Mormugao Port Trust,” he said.
The minister said that the coal has been handled in MPT since last several years and it has nothing to do with the plan of double tracking the lines. “The double tracking is required for the more trains to run on the tracks. It is nothing to do with the coal handling,” he said.
Cabral said that the protestors had met him personally with their demands in the past.
“I had told them to support their claim that the Goa is being converted into coal hub. They were pointing out towards the projects to be undertaken under central government’s Sagarmala scheme,” the minister said.
“I had specifically told them that the consultants appointed under Sagarmala had studied various possibilities of creating new infrastructure like jetties. But that does not mean, Goa will go ahead with those projects. It is just a suggestion from the consultants,” he said.
Cabral said that the MPT had formally informed the state government that they are dropping three projects including capital dredging of the rivers in Goa, expansion of outer harbour and setting up of a port at Betul village,” he said.
The minister pointed out that the coal is already being taken to Karnataka in the existing cargo vans by South Western Railway but there are no complaints received from the people who are living along the railway line.