Vande Bharat Express, K Muraleedharan | Photo: PTI, Mathrubhumi Archives
Kozhikode: Congress leader and Vadakara MP K Muraleedharan urged the Kerala government to discard the “stubbornness” of launching the SilverLine semi-high-speed rail project in the state and abandon the proceedings of land acquisition for the same.
The SilverLine project will not be accomplished as the state has already received Vande Bharat train services. Moreover, the state government has no economic competence to afford Rs 1 lakh crore for saving 2 hours, said K Muraleedharan. Vande Bharat leaves no financial burden on the state government, he added.
By mocking CPM state secretary MV Govindan’s controversial ‘appam’ (rice and coconut hoppers) remark, Muraleedharan commented that the ‘appam’ produced in Shoranur can be easily sold in Shoranur itself and there is no need to sell them in Kochi after boarding SilverLine trains. “The state does not require a train service to facilitate the sales of ‘appam’,” he said.
MV Govindan had earlier explained the benefits of the SilverLine project by illustrating the Kudumbashree personnel making profits by selling ‘appam’ in the districts lying at two extremities with the help of semi-high-speed trains. When these remarks sparked a controversy, MV Govindan had retorted that his statement only meant that the SilverLine can offer better services for the people in all strata of society and can save more time.
The test trial run of the Vande Bharat Express was completed on Monday, covering the distance from Thiruvananthapuram to Kannur in 7 hours and 10 minutes. The train commenced its journey from Thiruvananthapuram station at 5:10 am and arrived at Kannur at 12:20 pm.
The SilverLine is a standalone mass transit system that promises to reach Kannur from Thiruvananthapuram in 3 hours and 20 minutes. It will have 18 services to one side. If Kerala gets two Vande Bharat trains, it can make two round trips a day. Unlike Vande Bharat, SilverLine also will have goods transportation.