Finally, the detailed project report (DPR) of the controversial project of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has been released. On Saturday it was put out on the website of the Kerala Legislative Assembly, which the Congress led Opposition termed it as nothing but a hotchpotch report prepared without any conviction.
The DPR runs into 3,776 pages and is in four volumes.
If completed the pet project of Vijayan will see a 529.45 km corridor connecting Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod and a high speed train will run this distance in around four hours and it will cost a staggering Rs 63,940 crore.
Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan said it was just the other day the Chief Information Commissioner said that the DPR cannot be made public as it contains very secretive information.
"Now what happened, where has the secrecy disappeared. This was released just because Anwar Sadath, our legislator two days back served a contempt notice against Vijayan, as in reply to a question in the assembly Vijayan had mentioned that all details including the DPR have been put out and given in a CD format. Such a thing had never happened and realising the contempt notice has meat, Vijayan released it on the website of the assembly. With this it has become very clear, with Vijayan caught on the wrong foot, it was released and there was nothing secretive in this," said Satheesan.
Satheesan further added that the French company which prepared the DPR itself has gone on record that this DPR was prepared in a jiffy.
Metroman, E. Sreedharan, the legendary engineer who has built numerous mega similar projects, has already termed this project "idiotic" which is ill-conceived, badly planned and very badly handled, and now with the DPR out, all eyes are on what he has got to say.
A media critic on condition of anonymity said Vijayan feels that he can remain silent and take all for a ride and none should forget that just a few days back the Kerala High Court had slammed the way this project's land was being acquired and it has now stayed laying of alignment stones for the project.
"Vijayan thinks now that he has left on Saturday for US for his treatment and will return only on 29th of this month, all the opposition to the project will die down when he returns. Just look Vijayan's strategy of late, is to keep away from the media and when issues concerned to the leaking Mullaperiyar dam, re-appointment of Kannur University vice-chancellor, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan relinquishing the post of Chancellor and a few others surfaced, he has ducked the media. If he thinks he will be able to go ahead like this, then he is mistaken as he will have to give answers, especially with the Kerala High Court keeping a tab on all controversial issues," said the critic.