Planners, Heritage Experts write to WII against Railway Double Tracking

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Mollem: The planners and heritage experts have joined with Goa Citizens’ Appeal to Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India against Railway track expansion in Goa.

Several environmentalists in Goa have been opposing three linear projects including double tracking of South Western Railway line, which originates in Karnataka and passed through the National Park at Mollem and Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife sanctuary, to reach Goa.

Save Mollem, a citizen’s movement to raise awareness about Mollem National Park and Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, through their twitter handle, has said that planners and heritage experts join with Goa Citizens’ Appeal to Wildlife Institute of India against Railway Track expansion.

The group claims that 25 eminent architects and planners have added their voices to those of Goan citizens, scientists and other groups opposing the planned double tracking of the railway line through the Mollem National Park and Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary.

“In a letter to the Director of Wildlife Institute of India, the planners and architecture experts express grave concerns about the damage to Goan heritage homes, villages and human habitation, and the health and wellbeing of communities,” the Save Mollem has said.

It has further tweeted that “several villages in the immediate vicinity of the railway track comprise clusters of heritage homes up to 200 years old. The letter points out that the walls and floors of these classic homes have in man cases already developed cracks due to the operation of the existing track which will be exacerbated by the addition of aother line and the corresponding increase in rail traffic.”

Save Mollem, in their tweet, has quoted Lester Silveira, an architect, who has been photo-documenting the damage to these unique architectural and cultural embodiments of Goan culture as a part of series called #HeritageAtRisk, stating “we have got many architects and planners onboard and aware from all across India of the irreplaceable damages and unviability of the double tracking project.”

The group has said that in the letter written to the WII, the signatories note that a group of 179 architects from Goa have already raised the alarm about the danger to the state’s future and its unique cultural heritage.

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