Double-tracking project linked to hidden Chennai-Goa DFC?


30 Aug 2022 | 06:25am IST

Double-tracking project linked to hidden Chennai-Goa DFC?

WESLEY EDWARD PEREIRA

In the news report ‘Locals cry foul over SWR bid to electrify Hubli-Vasco rly line’ (Herald, August 26), the electrification of the Chennai-Goa route appears to be a priority. There is no mention about the scrapping of double-tracking project.

I refer to the presentation report on Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) Project by Chief Project Manager/Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd (DFCCIL) dated Feb 6, 2013.The future corridors of DFC project are indicated on page 19 of the report. One of the future corridors is the Southern corridor (Chennai-Goa) of 890 kms. It is reported that DFCCIL has assigned the future corridors study to RITES to be completed by Dec 2013. The setting up of Logistics Parks is indicated as an opportunity (refer page 20) of DFC.

Has RITES finalized the alignment of Chennai-Goa DFC in Goa? Why have project authorities not disclosed the proposed alignment & corridor width of DFC in Goa?

I refer to the pre-feasibility study report for development of logistics park near Devanahalli, Bangalore on PPP Basis. The alignment of the proposed Chennai-Goa DFC is shown on map in figure 30/page 64. The project appears to be for the benefit of Suvarna Karnataka Industrial Corridor development zones to be implemented under Karnataka Industrial Policy 2009-2014. From the map, DFC alignment in Goa is confusing as it is neither parallel nor close to the existing Londa –Vasco railway line. The Chennai-Goa DFC appears to follow a different alignment. Is the project linked to a hidden logistic park in Goa?

It appears that Southern Chennai-Goa DFC and Londa-Vasco parallel railway track are separate projects. The Londa-Vasco railway track doubling project could be a feeder rail link of DFC.

The Southern DFC project in Goa can end up as an elevated urban rail road project with industrial/urban SEZ townships (as in other DFC projects in India) connecting Mopa Airport. To support the hidden unsustainable business plans. There was a shocking news report in the Herald dated April 15, 2018 on the new role for Mopa Airport: cargo hub for southern India. Since SEZs have been scrapped in Goa, can we allow this to happen?

The Tourism Master Plan consultant was also the financial consultant for Mopa Airport. The plan document dated August 24, 2016 neither refers to nor includes any defined sustainable tourism policy for Goa finalized through proper stakeholder and local community consultation process. There was a need for a detailed notified sustainable tourism sector development policy document highlighting the methodology to resolve the local tourism sector issues. The sustainability for the tourism sector projects and the carrying capacity of Goa should be clearly defined. The plan highlights the unsustainable multi-modal transportation connectivity strategy including track doubling of Konkan and SWR in Goa. To promote sustainable tourism, the morning and afternoon passenger trains on the Vasco to Collem railway route can be extended up to Castle Rock Station to enjoy the beauty of Western Ghats. There is no need for a parallel railway track from Londa to Vasco along the Western Ghats.

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