Centre will approve SilverLine project only after detailed examination, declares union minister


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New Delhi: Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has declared that the central government will give approval to Kerala's SilverLine project only after a detailed examination. Responding to a query of Kerala MP Hibi Eden at the parliament here on Wednesday, the minister informed that though the railway board sought details regarding the project's technical feasibility, K-Rail didn't respond.

“Sufficient details for technical feasibility are not available in the Detailed Project Report (DPR). Therefore, Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited has been advised to provide detailed technical documents such as alignment plan, particulars of railway land and private land, crossings over existing railway network, duly depicting affected railway asset through Zonal Railway after site verification for detailed examination of the project and to arrive at conclusion about feasibility of the project. Details have not yet been submitted by K-Rail,” said the minister.

According to the minister, the Railway Board has not received any communication regarding the project since March 16, 2022. He added that the ministry of railways will scrutinize the environmental and financial aspects of the project. He pointed out that K-Rail should submit a report on technical feasibility to speed up the procedures.

In the wake of reports on the same, K-Rail spearheading the project refuted the minister's claims and asserted that it has provided all details of the project.

"A discussion with Railway Board members took place on December 6, 2021, and all the details sought by them were provided within December 31, 2021, claimed K-Rail.

K-Rail maintained that details of land acquisition and related aspects are not submitted yet. The survey to finalise the land acquisition is ongoing and it is carried out in association with the Railway Board itself, it informed.

Corroborating K-Rail’s contention, the state government has released a copy of the e-mail communication dated June 6, 2022, which happened between the Railway Board and the Kerala chief secretary.

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