Coal transportation through Goa will dip in coming years: SWR

Panaji, Nov 11 : Amid stiff opposition to its proposed double-tracking project, the South Western Railway on Wednesday assured that coal transportation along its tracks in the coastal state would see a dip in the coming years.

SWR Additional General Manager PK Mishra pointed out that the fears of opposition parties and civil society groups were “unfounded” since the onus of limiting the quantum of coal transportation was vested in the Goa State Pollution Control Board.

“Coal has multiple uses. Primary requirement of coal has been for power only. Our traffic (coal transportation) pattern has been going down. Requirement of coal will not increase in the future,” Mishra told a virtual press conference in Panaji.

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“The permission to transport coal is granted by the state pollution control board. There is a ceiling in force. We cannot breach the ceiling which has been set for coal transportation,” Mishra said.

The track-doubling project from Castle Rock railway station in Karnataka to the Tinai ghat station in Goa is one of the three projects opposed by the opposition parties and civil society groups, claiming the projects would lead to the axing of nearly 50,000 trees in the reserved forests in and around Mollem village in South Goa.

The opposition to the projects also stems from the belief that the doubling of railway tracks and expansion of the National Highway-4 would lead to increased transportation of coal imported to the Mormugao Port Trust in South Goa to steel mills in Karnataka’s Bellary region.

The track-doubling project is anchored by the Hubbali-based SWR and is 342-km in length, of which 90 km is in Goa. So far, only a 7-km stretch between Majorda and Margao has been doubled while the remaining project is mired in protests.

According to Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, 14 to 15 million tonnes of coal was imported into the Goa port, nearly all of which is destined for Karnataka.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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