A rail freight terminal has been proposed in Xelvona, a hamlet in South Goa, on over 50 acres of private land consisting of farms, orchards and forests. The terminal has been proposed by mining firm, Sociedade de Fomento Industrial Pvt Ltd, one of Goa's largest mining firms, to handle 2 million tonnes per annum, each of iron ore and coal, besides smaller amounts of limestone and cement. The land is situated by the Zuari river, a navigable river that links interior Goa with the Mormugao Port. The terminal would integrate a jetty and a railway line. Imported coal and iron ore brought from the port by barges would be loaded onto rail wagons. Ore mined in Goa, for export, would be loaded at the jetty on barges heading to the port. The villagers, led by the Village Panchayat of Assolda, Xelvona, Xic-Xelvona and Hoddar, have opposed the project, arguing that the activity would severely pollute land and water sources, including the river Kushawati - the project is in its catchment area. While the land is privately held (Fomento is making direct purchases), the villagers contend that coal and ore dust would affect nearby agricultural land. Xelvona has a population of 3000, and all of them use land and water resources. The project received environment clearance from the Goa State Environment Impact Assessment Authority in December 2015. The Assolda panchayat called a special gram sabha in January 2016, which resolved to oppose the project. The panchayat then appealed, in 2017, to the Goa State Environment Impact Assessment Authority to revoke its clearance. In response, the authority kept its clearance in abeyance and issued a show-cause notice to Fomento. The show-cause hearings have been in progress since then. The villagers have staged numerous protests in state capital Panaji and at the project site. While 80% of the land has been purchased by Fomento, the panchayat is urging the remaining land owners to not sell the land. The panchayat has also alleged that land was forcibly acquired from farmers for widening of the approach road to the village, which is required for the terminal to operate.
Opposition against environmental degradation, Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources
Has the Conflict Ended?
When did it end?
Why did the conflict end?
Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict
Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute
What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community? What was the decision of the concerned government department?
Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:
Status of Case In Court
Whether any adjudicatory body was approached
Name of the adjudicatory body
Name(s) of the Court(s)
National Green Tribunal
Appeal No. 2 / 2016
Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:
Whether criminal law was used against protestors
Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?
Reported Details of the Violation:
Date of Violation
Location of Violation
Nature of Protest
Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials , Objections as part of official procedures
Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:
Goa State Environment Impact Assessment Authority
PSUs Involved in the Conflict:
Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?
Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached
Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Sociedade de Fomento Industrial Pvt Ltd
Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?
Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached
Other Parties Involved in the Conflict: