'Why is groundwater not flooding Kerala': Minister Saji Cherian mocks protests against SilverLine

Alappuzha: Making light of the vehement opposition to the controversial SilverLine project in Kerala, State Minister for Fisheries Saji Cherian sought to know the State's 'exclusive' environmental issues that have been raised against the implementation of the semi high-speed rail corridor.

"What is high-speed (rail)? It is claimed it (train) will overturn. What exclusive environmental issue does Kerala have!" He asked while inaugurating an event of the Matsyafed or the Kerala State Co-operative Federation for Fisheries Development Ltd. 

He sought to know why Kerala has not been flooded despite it being said the State has abundant groundwater. He was apparently referring to fears that embankments to be built along the new rail line will cause flooding. 

Pushing for the ambitious rail project, Cherian further said that he had seen trains passing through malls when he went on a foreign trip 40 years ago. "People alight at the malls, make purchases, and board the trains. It travelled at 200 kmph. People here demand that the train should travel at 400 kmph. One should be able to cover the distance between Kasaragod and Thiruvananthapuram in two hours, he said. 

The minister further added that they (his party workers) had opposed several initiatives earlier. "Those are bygone days. Whatever has to be done now should be carried out. If postponed, it might not materialise," he said. 

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