Chief Minister Pramod Sawant denying that his predecessor, the late Manohar Parrikar, had rejected the South Western Railways project to double the tracks on a prime time national television show broadcast on Tuesday kicked up a storm in the face of persistent agitation against it.
The show triggered severe criticism of Sawant after a 2013 video of footage showing Parrikar unequivocally stating that the double-tracking project will not be allowed went viral.
NDTV, the news channel which broadcast Sawant's interview as part of its prime time 'Reality Check' program, also put out a facsimile of a file noting to then Chief Wildlife Warden, Richard D'Souza, in which Parrikar wrote that the project may not be cleared as the Goa government has rejected it.
Sawant has come under severe public criticism in recent weeks in the face of a swelling agitation opposing projects including the SWR double-tracking which is suspected to facilitate the creation of a coal transportation corridor between MPT and North Karnataka for power and steel plants there.
The SWR double-tracking is one of three projects located in and around the Mollem National Park and Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary against which protests have erupted over the last two months.
The two other projects are the Tamnar power project and the expansion of a national highway.