Vijayan, UDF cross swords over Silver Line project; Govt to go ahead with the mega project


PTI, Dec 27, 2021, 4:31 PM IST

Malappuram (Ker), Dec 27 (PTI): The war of words between the LDF government and the opposition UDF intensified over the mammoth Silver Line Rail Corridor on Monday as Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said no development initiative required for the state would be abandoned while the latter charged his attempt was to become a ”historical figure” by implementing the mega infrastructure project.

While inaugurating a party conference here, Vijayan said the development was not stuck to the same place where we are standing but to move ahead by implementing more projects required for the land and people.

Stating that the development of the land is the most important thing, he urged party cadres to ensure more support from people to implement it effectively.

”The state government is moving ahead with projects ensuring the development of the state. We are seeing that a stand is taken (by the opposition) that it will not be allowed to happen. But, the government is not prepared to give up any development project required for the land,” Vijayan said.

He was apparently referring to the ongoing row over the multi-crore Silver Line alias K-Rail project and the opposition UDF’ intense objection against its implementation.

The Chief Minister said his government does not want to bring hardship in anyone’s life but certain steps are required to be taken to bring development in the state.

He also recalled that protests were there even during the time of the land acquisition for the development of national highway and implementation of the GAIL pipeline but the change such infrastructure projects brought to the state was not small.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, V D Satheesan lashed out at Vijayan, saying that his attempt was to become a ”historical figure” by implementing the multi-crore infrastructure project but the bid would end on a tragic note. Just like his earlier bid to turn a renaissance leader failed miserably, this attempt would also end on a tragic note and there was no doubt for that, he added.

Satheesan also said the cap of ‘anti-development” would suit the best for Vijayan and the Marxist party was the one which had curtailed development initiatives the most in the state.

He urged the LDF government to clear their doubts regarding five aspects of the K-Rail projects including about its economic viability, its environment and social impact and estimate.

The senior Congress leader criticised the Vijayan government’s reluctance to discuss the matter on the floor of the House. Billed as the biggest infrastructure project in the state’s history, the proposed 529.45 km Silver Line rail corridor is envisaged to link Thiruvananthapuram in the south to Kasaragod in the northern most part of Kerala. The mammoth project is estimated to cost over Rs 63,000 crore.

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