Thiruvananthapuram: The land acquisition process for the Rs 63,941-crore Silver Line rail project, a joint venture of the Railways and Kerala government, is on and the project is expected to get the Centre's approval soon, Public Works Minister G Sudhakaran said on Saturday.
The land required will be acquired as per the RFCTLARR Act 2013 and good compensation will be given. Grievances and concerns of the affected people will be addressed and the project will be implemented only by taking them into confidence, said the minister.
The Silver Line corridor will connect Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod through trains with operational speeds of 200 km per hour, covering the 529.45-km journey in four hours. These trains will cover the busy Thiruvananthapuram-Ernakulam stretch in 90 minutes, which at present takes more than four hours.
Silver Line will run parallel to the existing railway line from Kasaragod to Tirur, while an alternative green-field alignment has been chosen for Tirur-Thiruvananthapuram stretch.
The Silver Line trains will have stopovers at Kollam, Chengannur, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Tirur, Kozhikode, and Kannur en route to Kasaragod.
Sudhakaran said the Cabinet has already given its approval to the detailed project report (DPR), submitted by implementing agency Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (K-Rail), a joint venture of the Indian Railways and the state government.
The project is expected to be completed in five years.
The DPR was prepared by Paris-based consultant Systra and submitted to the Union and the state governments for approval.
The project will help recovery from the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 outbreak and will generate job opportunities during and after the completion phase.
This project will also provide plenty of job opportunities to the repatriates returning to Kerala, the minister said.