Soon after Pinarayi raised hope in getting final nod, rail minister terms SilverLine 'complicated'


New Delhi: Soon after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said he is expecting approval for the SilverLine project following his meeting with PM Modi on Thursday, railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw informed the Rajya Sabha that the project is 'complicated' and an appropriate decision will be taken after deliberations.

The project may cause environmental damage. Besides, people are protesting against it. A decision will be taken only after considering the interest of the people of Kerala, he said.

The minister said that Railways thinks that the project will cost more than Rs 1 lakh crore against the state government's estimate of Rs 64,000 cr.

CM Pinarayi earlier on Thursday had met PM Modi. In the press meet after the discussion, Pinarayi thanked Modi for his 'positive response' to the demand of the state for speedy approval of the project. Modi assured to talk to railway minister on the matter, Pinarayi said. The CM had also met the railway minister unofficially. The minister's comment comes after all these developments.

Earlier, CPM MP John Brittas had accused the minister of playing 'cheap politics' on the matter by siding with the protestors. The minister's earlier comments in the Rajya Sabha and the strengthening of public protest by the BJP in the state forced Pinarayi to get directly involved in the process.

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