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Three panchayats back Alina against doubling of railway line in Cortalim Constituency

Vasco: After Cortalim MLA Alina Saldanha, the panchayats of Cansaulim-Arossim-Cuelim (CAC), Velsao-Pale-Issorcim (VPI) and Sancaole, too, have decided to oppose any proposal for the doubling of railway line by South Western Railway (SWR) and passing these three villages under Cortalim Constituency.Interestingly, all the sarpanchas of these villages have also claimed that their first resolution in the first gram sabha would be to oppose the proposed doubling of railway line on various grounds.Cansaulim-Arossim-Cuelim Sarpanch Marta Saldanha said, “Double track would benefit few business giants having their operations at MPT and not the villagers who are already facing severe hardships since the time first track divided CAC village into two parts. We therefore don’t require double line as the village presently is covered with railways from both sides (village divided by Konkan Railway and SWR)” she said.“Also, there are several heritage houses and whenever the train moves, even next to our panchayat building we get vibrations. Double line railway will lead to more vibrations in the ground and the heritage houses might collapse on its own. We are already prepared to take our first resolution in the forthcoming gram sabha and we are also ready to even come out on streets, the way we had opposed aggressively during Konkan railway protest,” Saldanha added.
Velsao Sarpanch Henrique D’Mello claimed that the new body wants to protect the identity of Velsao-pale village which is a fishing village and hence double track railway line is not at all possible and the villagers would never allow this to become a reality. “How can we think of having double track railway when the whole village is suffering? Presently, we have one railway level crossing which stops the movement of vehicle after every 15 minutes. Railways failed to provide us a road over bridge over the tracks in last several decades and how can they ask for another line which if comes would affect heritage houses besides posing severe hardships for the village. We will adopt another fresh resolution to oppose double track in our first gram sabha meeting,” D’Mello claimed.Extending full support to Alina and other opposing panchayat bodies, Sancoale Sarpanch Girish Pillai said, “We all three panchayats along with the villagers will strongly oppose double track line. As our MLA said, this second line would be disastrous and hence the same should not be allowed, therefore to formally support CAC and VPI Panchayats, we will adopt a resolution against the double track in our first gram sabha meeting.” [H]

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