Wed, 11 Dec, 2019

Goa placed KR on track, but got least jobs

Maharashtra, K’taka benefitted most ,Goans recruited mostly in ‘C’ class jobs, RTI reveals

04th December 2019, 02:46 Hrs

the goan I network

PANAJI

It is conventional wisdom that those who stand to lose the most should benefit from maximum compensation. However, the Konkan Railways (KR) seems to have followed different wisdom in compensating Goa and Goans.  

The KR benefited the most in terms of acquired land from Goa, in comparison to its vastly larger neighbours, Maharashtra and Karnataka. But when it came to providing jobs to the land-losers, Goa’s share in jobs at KR have been disproportionate as compared to the two other States, details under Right to Information (RTI) have revealed.  

Besides, many Goans who lost their land to the KR project are yet to get jobs in compensation.   

Information obtained under RTI has revealed that the Goans recruited in the Konkan Railways are mostly in the ‘C’ class jobs.   

An RTI activist, Sandeep Haldankar from Poraskade-Pernem has exposed the negligible presence of Goans in the KR workforce. 

Through his persistent efforts in filing RTI applications, Haldankar has revealed some startling figures in connection with Goa’s contribution to the KR project and benefits in terms of jobs.   

Despite being vastly smaller in size than even a district in Maharashtra and Karnataka, Goa handed over the highest amount of land -- 3,104.09 hectares -- for the KR project, as compared to Karnataka (1,124.116 hectares) and Maharashtra (836.791 hectares), information obtained by Haldankar revealed.  

But when it came to jobs to those who lost their land, Goa has been given step-motherly treatment and fewer land-losers from Goa have got jobs, in comparison to the two larger States.  

While only 334 land-losers from Goa have been recruited in the KR, the number of land-losers who got KR jobs were much higher in Maharashtra (1,550) and Karnataka (1,054).  

Information under RTI also revealed that in a computer-based test from the Panaji centre in July 2018, around 440 candidates appeared for the exam and only 3 candidates passed the test.   

For another recruitment computer-based test in 2018, the KR replied that they had not maintained centre-wise data of selected candidates with them.   

Around 399 candidates had been called for document verification that time from Goa and it is unclear how many of them were selected for jobs in the Konkan Railways.  

It is also interesting to note that Goa contributed 6% (Rs 78.75 crore) of the total cost of the KR project till date.

Even though Goa has parted with far more land for the KR project than  both Maharashtra and Karnataka combined, the railways ministry has been  keen to acquire even more land for doubling of the Tinaighat-Vasco South  Western Railway line. 

It may be recalled that Union Minister of Railways for State Suresh  Angadi, while inaugurating the Vasco-Belagavi bi-weekly passenger at  Vasco in September, had urged the Goa government to make available land  for doubling the railway tracks.  

While claiming that doubling of tracks would enhance movement of  trains and facilitate overall development of the region, Angadi had said  double tracking of railway track was vital to Goa’s economy as well.  

“The project of double tracking is important and I appeal to the Goa  government and its MPs to offer land as early as possible for double  tracking. As long as Goa does not give us land, this project is not  possible.” 

“Double tracking requires 150 hectares of land and we have only 2.5  hectares available. After double tracking, mines and coal etc. can be  transported and this will be boost state economy and also provide more  employment opportunity. We have requested the CM for land. In case any  one loses their houses, we will compensate them or else, we will see if  the tracks can be taken from the side land by avoiding houses,” Angadi  had said during the inaugural function. 

Angadi was, however, disappointed after the project to double the  railway track had been stiffly opposed and additional land was not made  available for the project.