SC order setting aside clearance for railway double tracking in Goa welcomed

Goa’s civil society activists, along with politicians in the opposition have hailed the Supreme Court order which set aside the clearance granted by the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) for doubling the railway line from Castle Rock in Karnataka to Collem in Goa.

Claude Alvares of Goa Foundation, based on whose application to the SC the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) was formed, said that this is a major victory for Goans. He had opposed double tracking to protect wildlife.

The CEC had expressed concern that doubling the railway track from Castle Rock to Collem would destroy the fragile ecosystem of the Western Ghats, which was an internationally recognised biodiversity hotspot.

“Supreme Court has affirmed CEC recommendation on railway double tracking and has cancelled the clearance granted by NBWL. Court has allowed the railways to reapply, however this is a major victory for Goans,” Alvares said.

“Supreme Court’s affirmation to the recommendation of the CEC and cancellation of NBWL clearance granted to Railway Double Tracking is a victory for Goans, who fought to protect the environment, forest and wildlife. This has preserved the identity of Goa,” former Chief Minister and current Margao MLA Digambar Kamat said.




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