Kerala allocates 2000 Cr for K-Rail, anticipating Centre's approvaltext_fields
Thiruvananthapuram: Despite the gathering protests and zero nods from the Union government, the Kerala State's Pinarayi government is moving forward with the flagship Silver Line Project, allocating Rs 2,000 crore for land acquisition, in its first full budget. State Finance Minister KN Balagopal expressed his better faith that the Centre would approve the project, The News Minute reported.
The allocation will be sanctioned from Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB). The Finance minister said that the initial activities on the semi-high speed rail- 529 Km Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod stretch- has been initiated on an estimate of Rs 63,941 crore, and it would be implemented by the Union Ministry of Railways, State government and public equity participation and a bilateral loan, he said. As the project will bring a "development boom" in the State, the Union will approve it. Also, the electric railway system is the most eco-friendly travel system available today, the minister added.
Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (K-Rail) is the implementing authority of the Silver Line. The project will connect north and south of the State and transit passengers in four hours.
The Union budget ignored the State's project, which had infuriated Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who in turn slammed the Centre. Massive protests were cropping up from residents in areas through which the project is mapped, and multiple times, the laying of survey stones were stopped. While the Congress-led Opposition in the State opposes it tooth and nail, the project is also criticised for its colossal expense as well as ecological impact.