Protest against Kerala’s Silverline Project

Tags: State News

The Opposition parties in Kerala, are spearheading the agitation against the Pinarayi Vijayan’s government-led Silverline Semi high-Speed Railway Project in some parts of the state.

Protest against Kerala’s Silverline Project

What is the Silverline Project

  • The Thiruvananthapuram–Kasaragod Semi High-Speed Rail Corridor, also known as the Silver Line, is a proposed higher-speed railway in India that would connect Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala, with Kasaragod, the northernmost district of Kerala.
  • The 529.45 km corridor, with an operating speed of 200kmph, eases the transport between the North and south ends of the state and reduces the total travel time to less than 4 hours, compared with the present 10 to 12 hours. 
  • The intermediate stations include Kollam, Chengannur, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Kochi Airport, Thrissur, Tirur, Kozhikode and Kannur.

Who is funding the project

The ₹63,941­crore Silverline project is a joint venture of the State government and the Ministry of Railways.

Why are there protests against Kerala’s Silverline project

Opposition parties are protesting against the project stating various reasons-

  • It is not financially viable and will pull the state further into debt. 
  • As per environmental activists' assessment, the project will lead to the displacement of at least 20,000 families and around 50,000 commercial establishments. 
  • Furthermore, environmentalists are of the view that the project will cause great environmental harm because its route cuts through wetlands, almost 145 hectares of paddy fields, and hills. The building of embankments on either side of the major portion of the line will block natural drainage and cause floods during heavy rains. 

According to the Ministry of Railways, rail routes that can run trains at the speed of 160 Km per hour to 200Km per hour are considered Semi-High speed trains.

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