Kerala Budget: Big push for SilverLine project; new IT corridors planned
The project, estimated to cost ₹63,941 crore, will connect the south and north ends of Kerala

Kerala Budget: Big push for SilverLine project; new IT corridors planned

Presenting his maiden full budget in the Kerala Assembly on Friday, Finance Minister K N Balagopal expressed hope that the Centre would give its nod for implementing the southern state’s proposal to build a semi-high speed railway line and allocated Rs 2,000 crore for acquiring land.

The Finance Minister said the initial amount of Rs 2,000 crore for acquiring land for the proposed semi-high speed K-Rail project, called the SilverLine project, will be made available from the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB).

The minister said the SilverLine project, which is expected to reduce travel time from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod to around four hours, is a joint venture set up by the Government of Kerala and the Ministry of Railways.

Noting that the eco-friendly project is essential for giving a boost to the state’s development, Balagopal expressed hope that the Centre would give its sanction.

Earlier, the state government had requested the Centre to provide budgetary allocation for the semi-high-speed railway project.

However, it was not mentioned in the Union Budget presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in February.

Meanwhile, looking to tap the potential of the information technology sector in the post-COVID era, the Finance Minister proposed to set up a new IT park, four IT corridors and 20 satellite IT hubs in the state.

The new IT park would be set up in Kannur district and the international airport there is expected to accelerate the growth of the sector in the northern district, he said.

The proposed IT corridors would be set up parallel to the National Highway-66, which is being expanded to four lanes, and they would begin from the existing IT parks including Technopark, the pioneer IT hub in the state capital here, the minister explained.

A total of Rs 100 crore was set aside through KIIFB for the expansion of the IT parks and Rs 1,000 crore earmarked for land acquisition in the sector, Balagopal added. Besides, Rs 100 crore has been allocated for setting up a medical tech innovation hub in the state capital, Rs 200 crore earmarked for the development of universities, and Rs 300 crore budgeted for skill parks.

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