0.1229
900 319 0030
x

The SilverLine Project

iasparliament Logo
January 20, 2022

Why in news?

The critical voices have grown in strength against the Kerala government’s SilverLine rail project.

What is the SilverLine rail project?

  • The proposed 529.45-km line will link Thiruvananthapuram in the south to Kasaragod in the north, covering 11 districts through 11 stations.
  • When the project is completed, one can travel from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram in less than four hours at 200 km/hr compared to 12 hours now.
  • The deadline for the project, being executed by the Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL), is 2025.
  • KRDCL, or K-Rail, is a joint venture between the Kerala government and the Union Ministry of Railways created to execute big railway projects.

silverline-rail-route

What are the positives of the proposed project?

  • Reduces the pressure on Kerala’s heavily choked 1,800 km highways
  • Fast high quality connectivity
  • Substantial reduction in road accidents due to decongestion on road
  • Benefits the tourism industry due to the efficient movement of visitors between destinations at economic rates
  • Savings in fuel consumption
  • Clean mode of transport with reduction in Greenhouse gas emissions due to a shift from conventional transport to SilverLine
  • Introduction of RORO facilities leads to transport of vehicles such as trucks, lorries, etc. in an environment friendly manner
  • Last mile connectivity by providing cab feeder services, share auto services, eBus services, bicycle/bike rental schemes
  • E-charging facilities for individual electric vehicles
  • Connecting IT corridors – Technopark and Infopark
  • Direct and indirect employment opportunities during construction period and post project operation period

What are the concerns related to the project?

  • The burden of debt financing of the project could impact State finances substantially.
  • The displacement and generous rehabilitation of about 10,000 families from the 1,200 hectares of private land is a major concern.
  • Environmental concerns exist over the embankments elevating the track approximately for 300 km and availability of construction material aggregates.
  • Kerala’s steep drainage is oriented east to west and many speculate that the embankment may enhance the intensity of ambient flooding although the project provides leeways every 500 metres.
  • The SilverLine is, however, exclusively insufficient to answer the State’s traffic crisis.
  • The Government has not yet made the detailed project report public, a standard practice which brings transparency to large-scale public infrastructure projects.

What approach is needed?

  • Kerala needs an integrated sectoral appraisal and synthesis of its competing traffic corridor proposals viewed simultaneously as civic amenities and investment projects.
  • An integrative approach might address the concerns.
  • Kerala also needs to harmoniously develop its eco-friendly waterways which can decongest the clogged highways by another 15%.
  • A progressive and knowledgeable society like Kerala should engage in meaningful discussions rather than highly polarised debates.

 

References

  1. https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/the-silverline-project-is-anti-development/article38288549.ece
  2. https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/a-train-to-unite-kerala/article38284064.ece
  3. https://keralarail.com/projects/thiruvananthapuram-kasaragod-semi-high-speed-rail-shsr-project/

 

Login or Register to Post Comments
There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to review.

ARCHIVES

MONTH/YEARWISE ARCHIVES

Upsc Mains 2022