Goencho Ekvott along with Mollo-Velsao panchayat members and residents on Friday, November 26, stopped the survey being carried out by Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) contractors to demarcate railway tracks. The contractors are employed by the South Western Railways (SWR)
"RVNL officials are trespassing on villagers' private property without contacting the owners or informing the local panchayat of Velsao-Pale-Isorssim," said Olencio Simoes, Joint Secretary of Goencho Ekvott.
He claimed that RVNL officials began demarcating the area for double-tracking without acquiring land and began erecting barbed wire fencing, obstructing access to homes and properties.
The issue of double tracking of railways is currently raging in Goa and work on a double track railway is in full swing by encroaching on private land by grabbing space in the name of railway expansion for transporting coal.
"Our ancient homes will be demolished for this work. We will not allow our old houses as well as ancestral lands to be cracked. The villagers have strongly opposed the illegal work carried out by these people on the railways. Illegal surveys of the site were started several times by the railways," a resident said.
Orville Dourado Rodrigues, the founder of Goencho Ekvott, warned the government that if such illegal development is forced against the will of the people of Velsao and the state, Goencho Ekvott will be obliged to mobilise tens of thousands of people to take to the streets.
This land acquisition had been opposed since 2008 and now is again opposed due to double tracking.