Kerala Govt unveils DPR of ₹63,941 crore SilverLine Semi High Speed Rail Project

Naomi Pandya Posted on: 2022-01-18 10:00:00 Viewer: 3,410 Comments: 0 Country: India City: Thiruvananthapuram

Kerala Govt unveils DPR of ₹63,941 crore SilverLine Semi High Speed Rail Project

Thiruvananthapuram, India (Urban Transport News): Amid protest over the proposed ambitious  SilverLine (Thiruananthpuram - Kasaragod Semi High Speed Rail) Project in Kerala, the state government has published the detailed project report (DPR) with an estimated cost of Rs 63,941 crore.

According to DPR, the project is expected to complete by 2025 and would reduce journey time from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod from 12 hours to just four hours. "The road traffic has been growing at a rate of 10-11 per cent in the State whereas the growth of the road length has been negligible. This results in a great increase in road congestion," said in the DPR.

“The existing railway and road networks are not amenable to faster travel. Average speed on road and by train in the State is among the lowest of all regions of the country. Hence, the necessity for developing SilverLine corridors has been felt to cater to the needs of a rapidly growing and expanding economy and thereby curb the high road-based greenhouse gas emissions,” DPR noted.

The 529.45 km semi high-speed corridor begins at Kochuveli, near Thiruvananthapuram airport, in Thiruvananthapuram District, and runs through the districts of Kollam, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Kannur before entering Kasaragod District. Out of the eleven stations across Kerala, three of them –Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Thrissur — would be elevated ones while Kannur would have an underground station.

“The SilverLine alignment is not passing through any notified area such as National Park, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Biosphere Reserves and other Ecological Sensitive areas. However, the alignment is somewhat parallel to one of the Global Biodiversity Hotspots, the Western Ghats and hence impacts relating to biodiversity need to be carefully assessed,” mentioned in DPR.

The idea of highspeed rail corridor between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod was first announced in the Kerala Budget 2009-10. To implement the project, the state government had set up a special purpose vehicle named Kerala High Speed Rail Corporation Ltd (KHSRC) in 2009. Following that, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) conducted a feasibility study and submitted their report in 2012 to the government. But, the project was not implemented due to various factors including politics and the government had finally dissolved the KHSRC.

Later, the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government decided to build a special green field railway corridor between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod and the project was announced by the then Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac in the 2019-20 Kerala budget. 

Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (K-Rail), a joint venture of the government of Kerala and the Ministry of Railways, has been given the responsibility to implement the project.

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