While the state's ambitious Silverline semi-high-speed rail project, opposed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, is still awaiting approval from the Railway Ministry, the CPI(M) and the BJP seem to have agreed to examine a proposal for a high-speed rail corridor mooted by 'Metro Man' E Sreedharan.
The proposal has been submitted to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan by KV Thomas, who is the state's special representative in Delhi. Thomas has said that the government would study the proposal.
A BJP delegation led by state president K Surendran also met Sreedharan at his home to discuss the proposal.
After the meeting, Surendran said, “What is important is the development of the state. The government should strive to realise it. We’ll discuss the proposal. Sreedharan is of the view that Silverline is impractical. There is no dispute that the state requires a speedy rail corridor. But that should not incur a financial loss for the state or wreak havoc on its environment,” According to political commentators, this is because Sreedharan is admired for his work, cutting across party lines.
The Congress has alleged collusion between the CPI(M) and the BJP. It said that the viability of the project could be understood only when the details are out in the public domain.
The new project is expected to reduce the amount of land to be acquired because it would be elevated, eliminating the need for fencing.
It is also likely to be a broad gauge system which would allow connectivity to the rest of the railway network.
While the Silverline project was proposed to connect Thiruvananthapuram with Kasargod, Sreedharan's plan is likely to be up to Kannur to begin with, reported the Indian Express.
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