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Shelvona Riverside Rail Terminal - Comments

POLLUTION free SOLUTION
Shelvona/Goa Riverside Rail Terminal

FAQ
1. WHAT IS SRRT?
SHELVONA RIVERSIDE RAIL TERMINAL or SRRT in short, is an environment friendly state-of-the art facility, for handling of iron ore and coal, with modern equipment, designed to eliminate dust and noise pollution. As the name suggest, it is a rail to river interface, for effective load-out of railborne ore for exports and load-in of imported coal.

2. WHY ONLY AT SHELVONA?
SRRT is to be set up at a location where river and rail line are in close proximity to each other. Towards the east side of Shelvona, the distance between the railway line and the river does not have enough space. West of Shelvona, the railway line moves away from the river. At this site in Shelvona the land is marshy with weeds and only partially covered with paddy and coconuts. No dwellings exist.

3. WHAT IS THE SEQUENCE OF OPERATIONS AT SRRT?
The sequence of operations are as under:-
1. A railway loop will take off from the main line, at Shelvona. This loop will have a 60m long and 6m high totally enclosed hoppers to receive iron ore.
2. Iron ore will be carried by bottom-discharge wagons, be automatically discharged into these hoppers, which will have atomized sprinkers to suppress and settle the ultra-fine particles within the enclosures. No dust will emerge into the atmosphere.
3. The ore unloaded in the hoppers would then be transported into a covered storage area by covered (piped) conveyor belts or directly loaded into barges, again by totally covered conveyors.
4. Ore from the stockpiles (enclosed in domes, hangers, silos) would be reclaimed mechanically and loaded into the barges by covered conveyors, mainly in underground tunnels.

4. WILL THE PROJECT NOT DESTROY THE GREENERY & AGRICULTURE AROUND?
The railway loop will be on elevated pilings and therefore the paddy cultivation, within the loop, can be carried out uninterrupted. A thick plantation of trees and a vegetational belt around the project premises will not only enchance the environment but will also act as a barrier. Besides within the premises as a result of a dust-free atmosphere, gardens, horticulture can be developed in the open inter-spaces. The area would be transformed into a picnic spot.

5. CAN THIS PROJECT BE ENVIRONMENT FRIENDLY I.E. DUST AND POLLUTION FREE?
Ore will be discharged from bottom discharged wagons into enclosed hoppers. The hoppers will have atomized sprinklers to suppress and settle airborne dust. Movement of ore would be via covered conveyors. Apart from this, cascading chutes, slewing and luffing mechanisms, will ensure gradual placing of cargo and totally eliminate dust getting airborne. The operations will also be sound proof.

6. HOW WILL IT BENEFIT THE PEOPLE OF SHELVONA-CURCHOREM AND GOA?
The existing railway yard being in the midst of the thickly populated town, the people of Curchorem have been the victims of the dust and noise pollution. The overspeeding of trucks and heavy traffic are the sources of accidents. SRRT will substantially provide relief to the residents of Churchorem, Savordem etc. SRRT will generate direct as well as indirect employment, besides the other benefits, incidental to environment-friendly development. SRRT will help increase exports thereby generating more foreign exchange for the country.

7. WILL IT CAREATE DISPLACEMENT OF PEOPLE OF SHELVONA?
The project is being set up in an area which is predominantly low lying and marshy. Part of the area has paddy fields and coconut groves. There will be no displacement of residents.

8. HOW WILL IT BENEFIT THE RAILWAYS AND THE INDIAN ECONOMY AS A WHOLE?
After broad-guaging, railways can handle 8-10 million tones of cargo annually. Currently, railways system is underutilized at 3 million tons a year, due to constraints and pollution problems at Curchorem. SRRT would facilitate higher goods traffic even upto to million tons per year, which in turn would result in higher revenues for railways, helping the railways to subsidese the passenger fares.

9. WHY CAN’T A SIMILAR PROJECT BE PUT UP IN DUKARKOND?
The barge loading jetties on Zuari are 13-15 kms away from Dukarkond.

The area leading to the jetties is thickly inhabited and the road passes through residential areas of Sanvordem and Curchorem, where the dust and noise pollution, will increase multifold.

Double storage space will be required: one at the train unleading terminal viz. Dukrkond and the other at the barge loading point viz. Curchorem, Shelvona or Capxem or Sanvordem.

10. WHAT ARE THE KIND OF CARGOES THAT WOULD BE HANDLED AT SRRT?
Bulk cargoes like iron ore and coal woul dbe handled only inside domes, hangers and silos (as seen in pictures) No outdoor handling is involved, closed indoor handling and storage only.
11. WHAT ARE THE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES AT SRRT?
SRRT would require over 130 personnel in the Logistical, Technical, Administrative, Clerical, Semi-Skilled and Unskilled fields. This would ensure full employment to each and every person (presently unemployed) in Shelvona.

12. SUPPORT FROM CENTRAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS TO PROMOTE ENVIRONMENT?

1. Chief Secretary of the Government of Goa in his Affidavit with respect to the Public interest litigation on pollution at Curchorem, has stated that the proposal of SRRT is a workable solution and the State government has agreed to it in principle.

2. Goa Environment Protection Council, under the Chairmanship of His Excellency, the Governor of Goa, in its meeting of 24.01.2001, unanimously endorsed the project.

3. Central Government approved SRRT, in the railway budget of 1999-2000.

4. The town and Country Planning Department has issued no-objection certificate on 18/12/00 and 26/12/00.

DID YOU KNOW ? POLLUTION AT CURCHOREM IS CAUSED BY:
· Manual handling of iron ore.
· Unloading of ore from rail wagons.
· Loading of trucks by wheel loaders.
· Dumping of ore into barges from river jetties.

COMMENTS.
The Goa Su-Raj Party which is an Enviro-Green Party of Goa (Goa Environmental Action Group [GEAG] established in 1997, having been graduated into a political outfit) fully endorses and supports SRRT at Shelvona. We like to congratulate four stalwarts from Churchorem namely 1. Late Diago Fernandes. 2. John Verdes Pereira. 3. Digamber Naik and 4. D.P. Kudchodkar, who filed a PIL in the Bombay High Court at Goa in the year 1982 against Noise and Dust Polltution at Curchorem and prayer for shifting the railway yard away from Curchorem. Today, with the government notification for the acquisition of land for the SRRT (NT-22-12-06 Pg 15) it looks like the battle for clean environment and sustainable progress has been won by people like John Verdes Pereira and others and the anti-clean-environment people like Ramrao Dessai, MLA for Curchorem, have lost miserably. It is time to shunt these people into obscurity.

It is to be remembered that Ramrao Dessai has been capitalizing on the agony of the people of Curchorem for his personal gains. He motivated a small section of his chamchas to assault the premises of Cidade de Goa, owned by Mr. Audhut Timblo, a forceful proponent of the SRRT for clean environment and sustainable progress. We at Goa Su-Raj Party do not speak for people unless we determine that these people are genuinely concerned with enviro-green solutions for Goa. We consider that Audhut Timblo is one such person. The Goa Su-Raj Party will support the mining industry in Goa only if it shows its genuine concern for Goa’s environment, preservation/reforestation of used/old mining areas, conservation of ground water and preservation of agricultural field inundated by mining silt as well as prevention of silting of Goa’s rivers. These concerns must be seen to be working for Goa. Mining industry must co-exist with the protection and preservation of Goa’s all round environment, wild life and its forests.

Goasuraj.



LIFE LINE
Goa Su-Raj Party has been in existence since 31/08/2000.

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