Won't abandon development projects, says Kerala CM on SilverLine
The Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan dug in his heels on Monday (December 27) and declared that no development initiative required for the state would be abandoned even as the Opposition UDF slammed him for attempting to become a “historical figure” by implementing the mega SilverLine Semi-High-Speed Rail Corridor project.
While inaugurating a party conference in Malappuram, CM Vijayan said that the development does not mean being “stuck to the same place where we are standing but to move ahead by implementing more projects required for the land and the people”.
Stating that the development of the land is the most important thing, Vijayan urged the party cadres to ensure more support from people to implement it effectively.
“The state government is moving ahead with projects ensuring the development of the state. We are seeing that a stand is taken (by the Opposition) that it will not be allowed to happen. But the government is not prepared to give up any development project required for the land,” Vijayan said.
Vijayan was apparently referring to the ongoing row over the multi-crore SilverLine alias K-Rail project which has intensified with the UDF’s intense objection against its implementation.
The CM said that his government does not want to bring hardship in anyone’s life, but certain steps are required to be taken to bring development in the state.
Vijayan also recalled that protests happened even during the time of the land acquisition for the development of the National Highway and implementation of the GAIL pipeline, but the transformations such infrastructure projects brought to the state were not small.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly V D Satheesan lashed out at Vijayan, saying that his attempt was to become a “historical figure” by implementing the multi-crore infrastructure project, but the bid would end on a tragic note.
Just like his earlier attempt to turn into “a renaissance leader” failed miserably, this too would also end on a tragic note and there was no doubt of that, he added.
Satheesan also said that “the cap of anti-development” would suit the best for Vijayan and the Marxist party was the one which had curtailed development initiatives the most in the state.
Satheesan urged the LDF government to clear their doubts regarding five aspects of the K-Rail projects, including its economic viability, its environment and social impact, and estimate. The senior Congress leader slammed the Vijayan government’s reluctance to discuss the matter on the floor of the House.
Billed as the biggest infrastructure project in the state’s history, the proposed 529.45 km Silver Line rail corridor is envisaged to link Thiruvananthapuram in the south to Kasaragod in the northern most part of Kerala. The project is estimated to cost over ₹63,000 crore with the cost expected to escalate by five per cent or 32,000 crore each year. It is estimated that nearly 54,000 passengers will use this rail daily when it starts functioning in 2025.
(With inputs from Agencies)