Social Impact Assessment for SilverLine being done only through geo-tagging, state informs Kerala HC

Kerala High Court

Kochi: Kerala Government on Tuesday informed the state High Court that no large survey stones are being used for demarcation in the ongoing Social Impact Assessment (SIA) activities as part of the SilverLine semi-high-speed rail project. It also informed that the activities of SIA will be done only through geo-tagging.

Earlier the Railway Board has informed the High Court that no approval has been granted for the rail project. This was informed by the board in a statement filed at the High Court when the Court asked the Centre to disclose if the Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL) has been instructed by Railway Board not to be part of the ongoing SIA.

The statement said that all steps taken "in pursuance of land acquisition for the project are premature". Board has neither approved nor concurred with the SIA and that the survey conducted by the State government was under the provisions of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Act. Under the Act, when a State is conducting an SIA, the Centre has no role in it, it said. However, if the KRDCL, being a company, is involved in the SIA and spending its funds for the purpose, such involvement and expenditure will be at its own risk and responsibility, it added.

The High Court asked the Centre regarding this when considering a batch of pleas challenging the laying of large survey stones on private land without issuing prior notices to the concerned individuals.

Silverline Project or K- Rail project is a semi high-speed railway corridor, connecting Kasaragod and Thiruvananthapuram. The line is proposed to be 529.45 km long, covering 11 districts through 11 stations. The intermediate stations include Kollam, Chengannur, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Kochi Airport, Thrissur, Tirur, Kozhikode and Kannur.


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