KSSP demands suspension of all SilverLine activities

It is undemocratic to go ahead with the project without discussing it with people, says Parishad

The Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad (KSSP) has urged the K-Rail authorities and the State government to suspend all activities in connection with the proposed SilverLine semi-high-speed rail project.

In a release issued on Friday, the organisation pointed out that indiscriminately laying boundary stones for the project across the State without discussing the detailed project report, environment impact assessment report, and social impact assessment report with people and clarifying the alignment of the project was anti-democratic.

Based on available information, the project is not one to be prioritised in tune with the acclaimed Kerala model. The project gives prominence to the wealthy in society and estimates to benefit to the tune of ₹10,000 crore from real estate business from the proposed townships around SilverLine stations.

By K-Rail authorities’ own admission, the project expects only higher class train passengers alone and the wealthy class, including those who own private vehicles, air passengers and those who can afford high-fare bus tickets. K-Rail authorities’ attitude that lets ordinary passengers suffer from the existing snail-paced railway development and the wealthier travel faster is not acceptable, the release said.

While the project benefits only a minority, its environmental cost has to be suffered by the majority. The project cost of ₹64,000 crore is estimated as per the 2018-19 price levels, while the actual cost may exceed the ₹1.26 lakh crore eetimated by Niti Ayog, the release added.

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