Kerala again approaches union government seeking final nod for SiverLine project

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Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala government has again approached the union railway ministry for the final approval of the SilverLine semi high-speed rail project.

Chief Secretary VP Joy wrote to the railway ministry as it has been nearly two years since the Detailed Project Report was submitted to the union government. The letter was sent two weeks ago.

The DPR was submitted for approval on June 17, 2020. The railway sought clarification on certain matters in the DPR. It had told the high court that the final approval has not been given since there are issues in the DPR. The K-Rail has responded to the queries in detail, the company claimed. However, there has been no response since then.

Meanwhile, citing the in-principle approval, Kerala started the social impact study. The survey kick-started state-wide protests forcing the government to change the mode of survey. It stopped the stone laying and decided to start GPS-enabled surveys amidst the Thrikkakara byelection campaign.

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has stated several times that the project will be implemented when it gets the final nod. He met PM Narendra Modi in March seeking support for the project. The meeting was productive, said the CM. However, a delegation of BJP led by engineer E Sreedharan met the union railway minister to stop the government from giving the final nod for the project. The BJP in Kerala has been claiming that the project will never get approval from the union government. Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had told the parliament that the project has environmental and economical concerns.

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