Kerala HC sets aside order deferring survey for SilverLine project

A bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly set aside a single judge's order deferring the survey till February 18.
Kerala High Court
Kerala High Court
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The Kerala High Court on Monday, February 14 allowed the state government's appeals and set aside a single judge order deferring a survey in connection with the SilverLine project. A bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly set aside the single judge's January 20 order deferring the survey till February 7. The single judge, thereafter, on February 7 had further deferred the survey till February 18.

The single judge's orders had come on several pleas, some of which had opposed the survey being conducted and the others were against the laying of concrete poles to identify land meant for the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) study. In response to the state's appeals against the January 20 order, the Union government had filed a statement in which it had said that it was "advisable" that land acquisition proceedings for the project be stopped at this stage as its financial viability was "questionable" and feasibility of the present track alignment has not been agreed to by the Railway Ministry.

The Kerala government's ambitious SilverLine project, which is expected to reduce travel time from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod to around four hours, is being opposed by the opposition Congress-led UDF, which has been alleging that it was "unscientific and impractical" and will put a huge financial burden on the state.

The 530 km stretch from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod 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. Starting from the state capital, SilverLine trains will have stoppages at Kollam, Chengannur, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Tirur, Kozhikode and Kannur before reaching Kasaragod.

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