Govt repatriates officials deputed for SilverLine Project

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Thiruvananthapuram: In a major move, the government has decided to repatriate state government employees deputed to the 11 offices of K-Rail for the implementation of the SilverLine project. Sources close to the government confirmed that 205 state government employees deputed to the 11 offices of K-Rail have been asked to report back to their parent departments.

Following this, it is rumoured that the government has decided to step back from the project. Rubbishing these rumours, the offices of the Chief Minister and Revenue minister confirmed that the LDF government has no plans to call off the SilverLine project.

Touted as the LDF government’s dream project, the Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod Semi High-Speed rail project was introduced to ease transportation by reducing travel time.

In August this year, Vijayan informed the Assembly that the project will not be shelved and is awaiting the Centre's clearance, but on Saturday, it became very evident, for all practical purposes, that project is defunct when it was known that 205 state government employees deputed to the 11 office of K-Rail have been asked to report back to their parent departments.

The project was seen as the Chief Minister's pet project and soon after taking over the office for the second time after the 2021 Assembly elections, he expressed his determination to go ahead with it.

But contrary to his expectations, as the preliminary work of identifying the land for the project started, it was met with stiff resistance from a large section of the public who staged protests across the state, including in his home turf - Kannur.

Despite several appeals from various quarters, Vijayan was adamant on making the project a reality.

To his shock, the CPI-M was decimated in the Thrikkakara Assembly by poll in May, making the completion of the project tougher.

Following it, things went into a limbo.

Metroman E.Sreedharan had termed the K-Rail proposal an "idiotic" one and said that it will never be implemented as it is neither economically feasible nor environmentally viable.

And on Saturday, he said Vijayan was misled by some quarters about the whole project.

"This was never a technically feasible one and it was never a sound project too," said Sreedharan.

If completed, the K-Rail project would have seen a 529.45 km corridor connecting Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod with semi-high speed trains covering the distance in around four hours.

(with inputs from IANS)

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