MARGAO: As the Vasco-Vailankanni Express chugged into the Sanvordem-Curchorem railway station Monday morning, protestors greeted it by waving flags and shouting slogans demanding a halt for the train there. Curchorem MLA Nilesh Cabral led the protestors. In deference to the protest, the train made a brief unscheduled stop. The ‘rail roko’ was thus accomplished without a single protestor having to step onto the tracks. Cabral, however, had made his point.
The agitation passed of peacefully without any untoward incident being reported, but the law enforcing agencies had not left anything to chance. Minutes before the arrival of the Vasco-Vailankanni train, policemen drawn from the entire district took their positions along the entire length of the platform.
South Goa collector N D Agrawal, additional collector-I Sandhya Kamat, South Goa SP Shekhar Prabhudesai, Dy SP Mohan Naik, Dy SP Lawrence D’Souza, Quepem deputy collector and SDM Prashant Shirodkar and Quepem mamlatdar Manoj Korgaonkar were seen closely overseeing the security arrangements. Curhorem PI Sidhant Shirodkar, Margao PI Sudesh Naik and Cuncolim PI Raju Raut Desai led their respective teams in ensuring that there was no breach of law and order at the railway station. A posse of Railway Protection Force (RPF) was also present.
Minutes before the train arrived, senior divisional commercial manager (DCM) of the South Western Railway (SWR) S Vishnuvardhan held a meeting with Cabral and assured him of pursuing the demands with the Railway Board. The meeting was also attended by the senior administrative officials of the state.
Speaking to RailNews later, Cabral exuded confidence that a scheduled stop for the Vasco-Vailankani train will materialize within a month or so. “Apart from a stop for the Vailankani train at Sanvordem, we also discussed several other issues at the meeting, including the demand for resumption of Goa-Miraj-Mumbai train and construction of subways at Kamral and Shirfod. They assured us of looking into the issues positively. We will take up the issues with them one by one,” Cabral said.