Uprooting survey stones will not stop development, SilverLine project will be implemented: Kerala CM


PTI | Thiruvananthapuram | Updated: 05-01-2022 21:56 IST | Created: 05-01-2022 21:56 IST
Uprooting survey stones will not stop development, SilverLine project will be implemented: Kerala CM
File photo Image Credit: ANI
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Uprooting survey stones will not stop developmental projects, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Wednesday, a day after KPCC chief K Sudhakaran's stated that his party will remove the survey stones of the SilverLine project.

The LDF government has been facing stiff resistance from the BJP and the Congress-led UDF opposition in the state to its ambitious SilverLine project.

With an aim to appear unfazed by the intense criticism of the project and indicate the government's determination to go ahead with it, the CM had a day ago held a meeting of stakeholders, dignitaries and representatives of various organisations to explain various aspects of the venture and announced a rehabilitation package of Rs 13,265 crore for those to be affected by it.

The move, however, further irked the Congress-led UDF opposition which on Wednesday termed the CM's meeting as a ''joke'' and an ''insult'' to the state legislative assembly.

The UDF even convened a meeting of its member parties, on Wednesday, to chalk out a plan of action, involving protests and public gatherings across the state, against the implementation of the SilverLine project.

In the meeting, the UDF decided that a special session of the state legislative assembly needs to be convened to discuss the SilverLine project, UDF convener M M Hassan told reporters here.

The opposition's plan of action against the project also involves holding around 100 agitations and public gatherings across the state in places where the SilverLine will pass through to inform the people there about the UDF's findings regarding the project, Hassan said.

He also said that in Kollam, Kozhikode, Kottayam and Kannur, which would be most affected by the project, regular protests or agitations would be held there and besides that meetings will be held at Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode with all stakeholders, people's representatives as well as those who would be adversely affected by the project.

Hassan said that UDF would not, like the Left government, hold a meeting with only some dignitaries and representatives of some organisations as was done a day ago by the CM.

He said the meeting convened by the CM was a joke as it was attended by people who would nod and affirm whatever he said.

The meeting was held without taking the state assembly into confidence and without considering the suggestions of the opposition, Hassan said.

After the CM's meeting on Tuesday, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president K Sudhakaran had said that his party will strongly oppose the proposed SilverLine project in the state and will remove the survey stones installed for the project.

''If the Chief Minister goes forward with the SilverLine project in a stubborn manner, then the Congress party will go for an all-out war against that move. If he refuses to open his eyes to reality, then we will remove the survey stones that have been installed illegally,'' Sudhakaran told the media on Tuesday.

On Wednesday evening, the CM hit back at the KPCC chief and said that development cannot be stopped by uprooting the survey stones.

''The stones can be thrown away, but the project will be implemented,'' he said.

Vijayan, while inaugurating the general meeting of the CPI (M) Idukki District Conference at Kumily, said his government was committed to implementing the necessary plans for the future of the state against all opposition.

He said neither he nor his government was acting stubborn and would not do anything which was not in the public interest.

However, it will not give up in the face of opposition by some ''vested interests'', he added.

The estimated cost of the project, according to the state government, is Rs 63,941 crore and it is expected to be completed by 2025.

However, the Congress-led UDF has claimed that the project would set the state exchequer back by over Rs 2 lakh crore.

The 540 kilometre stretch from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod, under the SilverLine project, would be developed by K-Rail -- a joint venture of the Kerala government and the Railway Ministry for developing railway infrastructure in the southern state -- and is expected to reduce the travel time between these two ends of the state to around four hours.

Starting from the state capital, SilverLine trains will have stoppages at Kollam, Chengannur, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Tirur, Kozhikode and Kannur before reaching Kasaragod.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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