Amid protests over high-speed rail, Vijayan says 'For future of children'


Amid statewide protests over a high-speed rail corridor project, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said the state won't stop work on the project. " Kerala will implement the SilverLine project. There are attempts to mislead people. The project is for the future of our children...If asked privately, Congress leaders would also say that the project is necessary," the chief minister said. The K-Rail SilverLine is an ambitious project of the state government that aims to cut the travel time between the north and south ends of the state to four hours from 10-12 hours. Critics, however, have said the project will displace thousands of families and it will also trigger environmental damage.

On Monday, cases were filed against more than 300 people in different parts of the state amid demonstrations.

K Rail Silverline Viruddha Janakiya Samiti, a collective voicing concern over the high-speed rail corridor, has been saying that wetlands, paddy fields and hills face risk if the project continues. “No serious study was done on the project. Besides triggering innumerable environmental problems many experts have also pointed out that it is not economically viable. The government should shed its adamant attitude and hear people,” K Rail Silverline Viruddha Janakiya Samiti leader Baburaj told reporters. The opposition parties, including the BJP and the Congress, have been objecting too. Last month, some BJP leaders including E Sreedharan, often called as 'Metro Man', met railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. After this, the minister had said the corridor is "not feasible in the present form. There are many technical and practical issues. And the government says it will be completed by 2025, going by my knowledge it is not possible."

"Without field level survey (FLS), land plan and sanction, land acquisition cannot be done," he had written on Twitter.

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