For the second successive day, angry protesters in Kannur were seen engaging in a war of words with police and K-Rail officials, when they tried to lay the marking stone for the social impact assessment study of the project.
“We do not want this as already we have been badly affected when our land was taken for a by-pass. They did not even give us a notice and had it not been for the local temple festival, no body would have known about it,” said angry housewives at the outskirts in Kannur.
On Friday, the Kerala government decided to invite Alok Varma, RVG Menon and Joseph C.Mathew for a meeting. All the three are often seen on TV channels on debates and have been vehemently opposing the project.
The government has asked top Science and Technology official K.P.Sudheer to coordinate the meeting which will also include three others who are batting for the project.
But the Action Committee group who have been waging strong protests for close to a year now expressed ire over its representative not being invited.
Meanwhile, the Congress-led UDF has decided to intensify its protests and warned Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan not to underestimate them as they will go to any extent to oppose the project.
“We are willing to go to jail and we will pull out each and every marking stone that will be laid,” said an angry KPCC President K. Sudhakaran.
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 say that this project is not needed for Kerala given the massive cost which will be in excess of Rs 1.50 lakh crore and would be an environmental and economic disaster and would be a huge burden for the next generation.