The Congress party on Tuesday decided to intensify its opposition to what’s now billed as the dream project of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan – the proposed over Rs 60,000 crore Silver line K-Rail project. Two time former Congress Chief Minister of Kerala Oommen Chandy has asked Vijayan to make the detail project report (DPR) public.
If completed it will set up a 529.45 km corridor connecting Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod and the distance will be completed in four hours.
“The quality of the DPR has been questioned by the very same person – Alok Kumar Varma who prepared it. And what’s disturbing is it’s on the basis of this DPR that Vijayan is determined to go forward, even as people are up in arms against this. Vijayan is now using force against people who are opposing this,” said Chandy.
Chandy went on to point out that speculation is that this preliminary DPR is just a copycat version of the earlier prepared bullet train proposal by the DMRC.
“What’s surprising is that the K-rail project is going to be more expensive than the Mumbai-Ahmadabad bullet train project. One fails to understand why is Vijayan so determined to go forward with this and all wish to know, whose interest he is serving,” asked Chandy.
Attacking Vijayan was also Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan who said the agency which did the preliminary survey using LiDAR, has itself expressed doubts and this was what the Opposition had raised on the floor of the assembly.
“The expected project cost is now being predicted at a staggering Rs one lakh crore, while the NITI Aayog says it might cost Rs 1.24 lakh crore and these are all based according to 2018 figures and hence if the project gets completed it might cost Rs 2 lakh crore and what’s most surprising is this project is going forward without even a proper study report. And even more surprising is this project has not even conducted an environment assessment study, a social impact study, nor does it have the clearance of the Centre. Hence the Congress led UDF is staging a state-wide protest against this project on December 18,” said Satheesan.
“Vijayan has not given answers to a single question that has been raised by us on this project. All knows that for 16 years Vijayan headed the party and blocked all developmental projects and now he claims to be the saviour. Today he is behaving like Prime Minister Modi, who also does not give answers to questions raised. We will cooperate if he comes clean on all what we have raised,” added Satheesan.
The strong opposition against the project comes at a time when Vijayan has written to Modi seeking his personal intervention to accord sanction to the project.
Meanwhile Metroman E.Sreedharan has termed the K-Rail project as an idiotic proposal.