Goa. Sunshine state. The land of sea, surf and leisure.

But India’s sunshine state is also home to a rich, biodiverse ecosystem. Which is now under threat. The Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park, situated in the Western Ghats in Goa, are in danger.Three major projects were approved during the Covid-19 lockdown in these eco-sensitive zones, without public consultations.

These controversial projects pass through Goa’s largest protected area and will lead to the chopping down of 59,024 trees in and around the wildlife sanctuary and National park. Hectares of forest land will be destroyed leading to loss of biodiversity and endangering the variety of plant and animal species that the forest has.

Massive protests have unfolded ever since. Here is a quick timeline of events.

January 29, 2020

Thousands join protests to stop what they see as an emerging freight corridor which will primarily be used to move coal from Mormugao Port to the border of Karnataka.

July 14, 2020

Talegao Constituents write to Smt. Jennifer Monserrate, MLA of the constituency, to raise the issue of Mollem in the assembly scheduled for July 27, 2020

July 18, 2020

321 students raise concerns over the proposed infrastructure projects in Goa.

July 20, 2020

A group of citizens come together to send letters to every MLA urging them to raise the issue in the Legislative Assembly.

Rohan Khaunte, Member of Legislative Assembly representing Porvorim constituency, Goa writes a letter to Mr. Prakash Javadekar raising concerns about land diversion around Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park.

July 22, 2020

MLA of the Curtorim Constituency Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco writes a letter to the CEC of the Supreme Court!

July 23, 2020:

AAP lends its support to the movement.

July 31, 2020

Opposition leader Digambar Kamat wrote a letter to the CEC opposing the projects and stated that the projects would degrade the habitats of several endangered wildlife species, which are found in the two wildlife reserves. 

August 2, 2020

Prerna Singh Bindra, former member, Standing Committee for National Board for Wildlife, writes to the CEC of the Supreme Court

August 27, 2020

300 distressed villagers write to Prakash Javadekar on proposed projects in Mollem forest areas.

September 5, 2020

Teachers from the state write to wildlife board over likely damage by Mollem infrastructure projects

September 15, 2020

The National Board for Wildlife (NWBL) decides to keep on hold a proposal for the diversion of 10.45 hectares of forest land for doubling of the Tinaighat-Castlerock-Caranzol (passing through Dandeli -Anshi Tiger Reserve) owing to a lack of clearance from the National Tiger Conservation Authority.

October 5, 2020

Prakash Javadekar feigns ignorance on opposition for Mollem projects. 

October 10, 2020

In a letter to the Centre, Curtorim MLA slams Javadekar on Mollem protests. 

October 14, 2020

Cutting across the party lines, an MLA from the ruling BJP and an MLA from Goa Congress write a second letter to the Union Minister Prakash Javadekar reminding him of the different stake-holder representations, restating their concerns regarding the three infrastructure projects given clearance within Mollem National Park and Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary.

October 17, 2020

Goans stage silent walk in London on Mollem issue.

October 28, 2020

Double-tracking work for south western railways begins amid protests

October 29, 2020

Railways sets March as the deadline for trial run on Chandor-Margao double track.

November 1, 2020

  Chandor protests Thousands of protesters gather midnight against the infrastructure projects

November 6, 2020

FIR issued against chandor protestors.

November 17, 2020

Particles suspected to be coal found on Goa beaches

November 19, 2020

The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Government of India  quietly granted stage 2 forest clearance to Xeldem Mapusa transmission line.

November 27, 2020

Two anti-double-tracking activists summoned by Maina Curtorim Police

December 1, 2020

Center approves diversion of 69.41 Hectares of forest land