Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 23 (SocialNews.XYZ) Kerala's biggest infrastructure project Silver Line (K-Rail) has not been shelved and is awaiting the Centre's clearance, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan informed state Kerala Assembly on Tuesday.
"The Silver Line project has not been shelved, instead is awaiting the Centre's nod. This project is essential for the state's development. If the Centre comes up with similar developmental projects, we will consider them up," said Vijayan.
He was responding to questions on the project in the House. To a question whether the numerous cases registered against those who protested against this project would be withdrawn, he replied in the negative saying: "No, it won't be withdrawn."
The project is being seen as the chief minister's pet project and soon after taking over the office for the second time after the 2021 April Assembly elections, he had expressed his determination to go ahead with it.
But contrary to his expectations, the preliminary work of identifying the land for the project started, and it was met with stiff resistance from a large section of the public who staged protests across the state, including his home turf - Kannur.
Despite several appeals from various quarters, Vijayan was adamant on making the project a reality.
To his shock, CPI-M was decimated in the Thrikkakara Assembly bypoll a few months back making the completion of the project tougher.
Following it, things went into a limbo and it's after a while that this issue reappeared this morning.
Metroman E.Sreedharan had termed the K-Rail proposal an "idiotic" one and said that it will never be implemented as it's neither economically feasible nor environmentally viable.
If completed, the K-Rail project will see a 529.45 km corridor connecting Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod with semi - high speed trains covering the distance in around four hours.
Both the Congress and the BJP say this project is not needed for Kerala given the massive cost which they say would exceed Rs 1.50 lakh crore. Besides being an environmental and economic disaster, it would be a huge burden for the next generation, the parties said,
while Vijayan and his men have been saying the cost will be around Rs 65,000 crore only.