Kerala HC closes pleas against SilverLine as DPR not approved by Centre

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Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Monday closed several petitions challenging the social impact study (SIA) and related laying of concrete poles in connection with the Left government's ambitious SilverLine project, saying that the Centre was yet to approve the DPR of the semi-high speed rail corridor.

Justice Devan Ramachandran said the petitioners need not have any apprehensions regarding the project as no new notification for SIA has been issued after the expiry of the last one and the detailed project report (DPR) as well as the land acquisition has not been approved by the Centre.

Therefore, no orders are required to be passed in the petitions in the present situation, the court said.

It further said that if there are any new developments in connection with the project, then the petitioners have the liberty to revive their pleas. With these observations, the court closed the petitions.

The Kerala government's ambitious SilverLine project, which is expected to reduce travel time from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod to around four hours, is being opposed by the opposition Congress-led UDF, which has been alleging that it was "unscientific and impractical" and will put a huge financial burden on the state.

The 530 kilometre stretch from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod would be developed by K-Rail, a joint venture of the Kerala government and the Railway Ministry, for developing railway infrastructure in the southern state.

Starting from the state capital, SilverLine trains will have stoppages at Kollam, Chengannur, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Tirur, Kozhikode and Kannur before reaching Kasaragod. PTI

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