The Silver Line semi-highspeed rail project will cut travel time from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram by seven hours.

Kasaragod to Tpuram in 4 hours Kerala FM says rail project to be complete in 3 yearsImage for representation
news Kerala budget Friday, February 07, 2020 - 15:23

Silver Line, the ambitious semi-highspeed rail project that will allow passengers to travel from Kasaragod in Kerala’s north to Thiruvananthapuram in the south in just four hours will soon be a reality, announced state Finance Minister Dr Thomas Isaac. In what is the LDF government’s last full budget before the 2021 Assembly Elections, the Kerala FM said land acquisition for the project will begin this year.  

The Silver Line project, which was first announced in the 2019 state Budget, aims to cover the whole length of the state and is expected to cost Rs 1,457 per person. There will be a total of 10 stations and the project will reduce the travelling time from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram by about seven hours. At present, the journey takes at least 12-and-a-half hours.    

“Today, 95% of transportation in Kerala depends on the road. This is not at all desirable. There will be an eco-friendly fundamental change in the transport structure of Kerala when the waterway and rail development are added,” said Thomas Isaac.

He also said that the aerial survey of the project has been already completed. The project is aimed to be completed within three years, once the land acquisition procedures are over. The minister also said that the alignment determination is the next step in the project. 

According to the Finance Minister, it will be the project requiring the highest investment in the state. “Discussions are going on for availing loans at lower rates from international agencies including Japan Development Agency with 40 or more years of repayment period. Some major investment organisations have come forward in the development of townships,” said Dr Thomas Isaac. 

According to the minister, the project has been comprehensively designed to develop a new service road along the railway line along with five townships. “It is expected that there will be 67,740 daily commuters in 2024-25 and 14,7120 commuters in 2051. Even though there are 10 stations, there will be short distance trains to the 28 feeder stations. Ro-Ro (roll on/roll off) facility for transporting vehicles and freight at night time will be available in this rail,” he said. 

The project is also expected to provide employment to about 50,000 people during the construction phase and about 10,000 people are expected to get permanent employment. 

The idea of a rail project covering Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram in just four hours was initially mooted by the pervious LDF government headed by VS Achuthanandan as a highspeed rail project. It was again redesigned by the present LDF government as a semi-highspeed rail corridor in the 2016 election manifesto. 

While the project was announced in the last budget, it received the in-principle approval from the Central government in December 2019. Following this, the aerial survey was conducted in January.

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