Protesters in Kerala remove SilverLine project survey stones
Protesters in Angamaly, Ernakulam, on Friday removed a set of survey stones laid as part of the construction of the Kerala government’s flagship SilverLine rail corridor project.
Around 30 protesters, under the aegis of the Janakeeya Samithi (People’s Forum), marched to a paddy field located at Puliyanam and removed the survey stones placed by the authorities.
As many as six stones, placed in Parakkadavu panchayat, were uprooted on Thursday night and a wreath was placed. Photos of the yellow-painted stones and the wreath were shared on social media platforms by Congress activists, who oppose the multi-crore project.
Angamaly legislator and Congress leader Roji M John, in a Facebook post, said the authorities laid the stones using police force and were arresting and threatening people who were protesting against the project.
“Salute to those bravehearts who gave a befitting reply to the arrogance shown by the Pinarayi Vijayan government that goes ahead with the SilverLine project challenging the people,” he said.
Leader of Opposition in the assembly, V D Satheesan, said in Kochi that the government was deluded if it thought the agitation against the SilverLine corridor could be suppressed using police force.
Alleging that it was the government that laid the stones illegally, he said a recent high court verdict made it clear that its removal was legal. The court and the opposition were asking the same questions about the project, the Congress leader claimed.
The survey stones have been laid as part of the social impact study of the SilverLine project in various places across Kerala, including politically volatile Kannur district.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan made it clear that the project would be implemented.
The project, estimated to cost ₹63,941 crore, will connect the south and north ends of Kerala.