What is Kerala’s “SilverLine project”?

What is the News? Kerala cabinet has given the approval to begin acquiring land for the SilverLine Project.

About SilverLine Project:
  • SilverLine Project is Kerala’s semi high-speed railway project that aims to reduce travel time between Kerala’s northern and southern ends.
  • Distance: The railway line will be around 529 kms long, covering 11 districts through 11 stations. It will link the southern end and state capital Thiruvananthapuram with its northern end of Kasaragod.
  • Implementation: The Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited(KRDCL) will execute this project.
    • KRDCL is a joint venture between the Kerala government and the Union Ministry of Railways.
  • Significance of the Project: Once the project is completed, one can travel from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram in less than four hours on trains travelling at 200 km/hr. The current travel time on the existing Indian Railways network is 12 hours.
  • Duration of the Project: The deadline for the project is 2025.

Expected Benefits of SilverLine Project: As per the Government, the silver line project will:

  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • help in expansion of Ro-Ro services
  • produce employment opportunities
  • integrate airports and IT corridors and
  • faster development of cities it passes through.

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Challenges:
  • Land Acquisition: The deadline for the project i.e. by 2025 is not realistic due to the challenging nature of land acquisition in a highly densely populated state like Kerala.
  • Environment Cost: The environmentalists are opposing this project due to the potentially irreversible impact on the state’s rivers, paddy fields, and wetlands, triggering floods and landslides in the future on the proposed route.

Source: Indian Express

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