KOCHI (Metro Rail News): The Kerala government released the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the ambitious SilverLine rail project, better known as K-Rail, amid protests over the proposed semi-high speed rail project on 15 January 2021. The project is scheduled to cost Rs 63,940.67 crore and will be completed in 2025-26. According to the DPR, the SilverLine will reduce the travel time from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod from 12 to four hours.
According to the DPR, road traffic in the state has grown at a pace of 10-11 per cent per year, but road length has grown at a negligible rate. As a result, there is a significant increase in traffic congestion. Faster travel is not possible on the present railway and road networks. The state’s average speed on the road and by train is among the lowest in the country.
As a result, the need for SilverLine corridors has been identified in order to meet the needs of a quickly growing and expanding economy while also reducing high road-based greenhouse gas emissions as per the DPR. “The SilverLine alignment is not passing through any notified area such as National Park, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Biosphere Reserves and other Ecological Sensitive areas. However, the alignment is somewhat parallel to one of the Global Biodiversity Hotspots, the Western Ghats and hence impacts relating to biodiversity need to be carefully assessed,” it said.
The lengthy document, which had previously been kept under wraps, had sparked outrage in the state, with opposition parties expressing their displeasure. As a result, the DPR has been posted on the official website of the state government as well as the state assembly’s portal.
In October, Congress MLA Anwar Sadath filed a privilege motion in the state assembly, which Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan promised will be made public soon. However, former state information commissioner S Somanathan Pillai later stated that the DPR should not be made public since it contained national security information.