Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday informed the Kerala Assembly that the K-Rail project has not been shelved but is awaiting the Centre’s clearance.
Vijayan was replying to the adjournment motion moved by the Congress legislator Roji M.John.
“The project will change the face of Kerala as it is going to give a huge boost to the economy. The person who moved this motion states that this project has been frozen. This is not true as the DPR for this project has been submitted to the Centre and is awaiting approval and the clarifications sought by the Railway Ministry is also being worked upon,” said Vijayan.
“As we await clearance, there has been a temporary redeployment of revenue officials to other projects. It is wrong to say that this project has been shelved,” said Vijayan. No decision has been taken to withdraw the cases that have been registered against those people who tried to prevent officials from doing their duty with regards to the project, he added.
At this, Leader of Opposition V.D.Satheesan said that at no cost will they allow the destructive project to progress.
He said that the Congress-led UDF is always for the development of the state and will never stand against projects.
“But since this is a destructive project, we will not allow it to happen. Vijayan feels he will be able to persuade the Prime Minister and the BJP leaders to get the clearance, but, at no cost will we allow this project to take off. Vijayan knows that this is not going to happen, but is still not ready to withdraw it.
“The need of the hour is to withdraw cases against hapless people who protested across the state when their properties were marked for the project. Incidentally, if cases were to be registered against people protesting against projects, then it is against your own party men, who all along have opposed development,” said Satheesan and demanded Vijayan to bring out a notification which says that this destructive project stands withdrawn.
Metroman E.Sreedharan was one of the first to term the K-Rail proposal “idiotic” saying it will never be implemented as it’s neither economically feasible nor environmentally viable.
If completed, the K-Rail project will see a 529.45 km corridor connecting Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod with semi-high speed trains covering the distance in around four hours.
Both the Congress and the BJP are opposed to it given the massive cost exceeding Rs 1.50 lakh crore. Besides being an environmental and economic disaster, the project would be a huge burden for the next generation, they say even as Vijayan and his men have been saying the cost will be around Rs 65,000 crore only.