Protests Against Keralas Silver Lining Project

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24 December 2021 Current Affairs:Several political parties and civic organizations, such as the K-Rail SilverLine Viruddha Janakeeya Samiti, have protested “Kerala’s SilverLine project.”

Highlights:

  • MPs have signed a petition opposing the project, claiming that it is an “astronomical scam in the making” that will add to the state’s debt. 
  • Furthermore, environmentalists believe that the project will have a significant negative impact on the environment because its route passes through wetlands, paddy fields, and hills.

Silverline Project

  • SilverLine is a project for a semi-high-speed railway. It envisions trains traveling at 200 km/h between Kerala’s northern and southern ends. 
  • The project’s total cost is estimated to be Rs 63,940 crore. Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod will be connected by a 529.45-kilometer rail link. 
  • Through 11 stations, it will cover 11 districts. Travel time from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram will be reduced from 12 hours to less than four hours at 200 km/hr.
  • “Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL)” is in charge of the project. Kerala’s government and the Union Ministry of Railways collaborated on the project. The project’s completion date is set for 2025.

Significance 

  • Several urban policy experts have expressed concerns that Kerala’s existing railway infrastructure will not be able to meet future demands.
  • Because of the curves and bends on the existing stretch, the majority of the trains travel at a 45 km/h average speed. 
  • This government is working on the SilverLine project, which will relieve congestion on the existing stretch and allow commuters to travel more quickly. 
  • Aside from that, the project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs, and aid in the expansion of Ro-Ro services, as well as connect airports and IT corridors and allow for faster development in the cities it passes through.

Features

  • Electric multiple unit (EMU) trains will be used in this project. Each train will ideally have nine cars that can be expanded to a total of 12. A nine-car rake can carry 675 passengers in business and standard class.
  • On a standard gauge track, trains will travel at a maximum speed of 220 km/h.

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