The Mollem forest in South is one of Goa’s richest biodiversity reserves. However, the new infrastructural projects in Goa that are endangering flora and fauna of Mollem National Park and Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary. Despite the existing infrastructure, the Goa government wants to speed up the transportation process by introducing three major infrastructure projects. The government is pushing for the expansion of the railway network between Margao and Sanvordem, as Goa acts as an essential link for coal transportation to Karnataka. On learning about the threat being posed to Mollem’s biodiversity, the Goan locals have come out in protests.
Locals Gathered For Midnight Protests At Railway Lines
Thousands of people have gathered in the protests risking their lives during the pandemic. The locals gathered for midnight protests at the railway lines of Chandor to block the doubling of the railway track. Residents have claimed that the expansion of the railway line would destroy the state’s ecological biodiversity. The protestors occupied railway lines after the authorities started work on doubling the railway tracks.
The Railway Projects Threaten Goa’s Flora & Fauna
Three major infrastructure projects threaten the biodiversity in and around Mollem National Park and Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary. The National Board for Wildlife proposed more than 30 forest clearance during the lockdown. The board virtually cleared two projects out of these which included the Mollem National Park and the Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary. Sunburn 2020 To Take Place In Goa’s Vagator Beach In December With 20% Capacity.
Mollem Supports More Than 70 Mammal & 235 Bird Species
The forest clearance can have grave consequences for the environment. It will lead to chopping down of 59,024 trees in the two wildlife sanctuaries. With respect to the protected area, 170 hectares are planned for forest diversion. The projects will also pose severe threats to both human and wildlife. Mollem currently supports more than 70 types of mammal, 235 bird species, 219 butterfly species, 45 reptile species, 44 fish species and 27 amphibian species. The clearance of the forest would endanger the species. Goa & Bandra Open New Community Fridges To Make Sure No One Sleeps Hungry.
Mollem, A Source Of Revenue For Nature-Based Tourism
Besides, the forest also comes as an essential revenue source for nature-based tourism. Along with Dudhsagar, hundreds of river-feeders originate in the woods and act as a lifeline for Goa’s water supply. The angry Goan locals have raised these concerns about the damage the projects would cause the state. For months, Goans raised their concerns before the Chairperson of the National Board of Wildlife the state government regarding the diversion of forest land.
Apart from the environmental, sociological and livelihood impacts, the infrastructural projects will destroy Goa’s heritage. India needs to stand in solidarity with the current issue that Goa faces.