SilverLine project: Family threatens self-immolation if land taken

The officials and the police, after lot of persuasion, cooled down Jayakumar and averted what could have been a tragedy. Screengrab/MMTV

Thiruvananthapuram: Officials trying to complete the land acquisition procedures for the Kerala government's prestigious SilverLine project were faced with stiff resistance from a family in Adichanalloor village of Kollam district on Monday.

As the officials came to the place where retired state transport employee Jayakumar, his wife, and his daughters live, he suddenly took a bottle of petrol and started pouring it around and warned that if the officials do not go back, he will set his family on fire as he brandished a lighter in his hand.

The officials and the police, after lot of persuasion, cooled down Jayakumar and averted what could have been a tragedy. Despite having heavy police protection, the officials had to retreat without completing the survey procedures.

On Monday at Malappuram also, things went out of hand when angry Indian Union Muslim League - the second-biggest constituent of the Congress-led UDF, staged a protest before the Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (K-Rail) office which was to have opened for the first time in the district.

Police came and arrested the protesters and the officials said that they will now open the office on Tuesday.

If the project is completed, K-Rail will set up a 529.45 km corridor connecting Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod and a train which will run this distance will complete its journey in around four hours and the estimated cost is in excess of Rs 64,000 crore.

Both the Congress and BJP are strongly opposing the project stating that this project is not going to benefit any on account of the massive cost, which they say will be in excess of Rs one lakh crore, when completed after 5 years.

While Metroman E. Sreedharan has described this project as one which is ill-conceived, badly planned and very badly handled, Pinarayi and his party are determined they will go forward as it is one of their commitment made in their election manifesto.

Pinarayi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for help and support to clear the dream project.

(With inputs from IANS)

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