Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], January 18 (ANI): Forty prominent citizens urged Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to freeze the proposed semi high-speed SilverLine railway project. The signatories include scientists and environmentalists.
In a letter to Kerala Chief Minister, these citizens raised serious apprehensions that the proposed independent high-speed railway system called SilverLine will spell disaster to Kerala society in multiple ways. They have pointed out that the two areas of exceptional concern are the state government's fragile public finance and the increasing ecological vulnerability of the State.
"What dismays us beyond words is that the Kerala government has come out with this fully debt-funded, foreign technology-based, the independent rail system in a unilateral declaratory fashion, without a much-needed political consensus and public debate. Therefore, we appeal to the Chief Minister to urgently take into account the following suggestions, made in the spirit of inclusive democracy," the letter reads.
The letter suggests the Kerala government to drop this massive project until a diligent articulation of the priorities in the making of a New Kerala is in place.
It further said that the Kerala government should come out with a white paper spelling out the state of affairs in the transportation system, covering the existing five modes - road, rail, air, inland water and coastal waters.
The concerned citizens appeal to the government to rigorously explore all the options in enhancing the existing Indian Railway system in Kerala, citing it "more cost-effective than the currently proposed system" and to discuss the State's transportation problems and its remedies in the Kerala Legislative Assembly.
There are protests against the Kerala government's ambitious semi high-speed railway project SilverLine. It is believed to be one of the biggest infrastructure projects of the Pinarayi Vijayan government.
The proposed 529.45-km railway line will cover 11 districts of the state connecting Thiruvananthapuram in the south to Kasaragod in the north just in four hours. (ANI)