Several activists and the residents of Velsao were disappointed after the Mormugao deputy collector did not turn up for the site inspection of the double tracking project at Velsao on Friday. A heavy police force was present at the site.
The residents of Velsao and activists from South Goa remained present near the Velsao track to confront the deputy collector of Mormugao who was supposed to conduct the inspection of one private property and the double track. Incidentally, the deputy collector Ravishekhar Nipanikar did not come to the site and this left the agitators waiting for more than two hours.
As per the available information, a few days ago a private property owner was trying to fence his property but was later stopped by the local police and a vehicle was also seized. In this regard, there was a site inspection on Friday by the deputy collector of Mormugao.
Sensing the opportunity to corner the deputy collector, several activists, Congressmen and residents remained present at the Velsao track, but they could not get an opportunity to question the deputy collector as he did not come to the site.
Later, speaking to the media, Viriato Fernandes, a Congressman from Dabolim, said that as per his study under the Sagarmala programme, the issue will not stop at a second track and a third track will come up further.
Fernandes said that the present government has sold Mhadei to the crony capitalists and the time has come that the people will have to take the law into their own hands. He added that the people of Velsao, Cansaulim, will not allow double-tracking.
Alina Saldhana, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader, questioned why the railway officials did not participate in a debate on double-tracking when they were asked to. “How could the railway authorities just walk into a private property and continue with double-tracking?” she asked.
“We live in a democracy, then how our voices are being suppressed. I guess the government does not have the guts to speak the truth. The government should speak up on behalf of the people," Saldhana opined.
Amit Patkar, Congressman from Curchorem said that the chief minister should come to Velsao and see the destruction which will be caused to heritage houses, rather than going to Delhi.
"This government is working on the instructions of crony capitalists. The private land which has not been acquired is being taken up for double-tracking by the railways," said Patkar.