After the windfall from the Union Budget, the Centre has showered more blessings on Kerala by way of green-lighting Silverline, the state's amibitious, Rs 64,000-cr semi high-speed rail project.
In a letter sent to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has urged the state government to expedite land acquisition for the project.
The letter also directed the state to engage with Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA) to finalise the funding aspect.
JICA has already expressed interest to provide a loan of Rs 4.46 billion crores.
Under the National Rail Plan 2030, Rs 1,10,055 crores has also been allocated for the overall development of the Railways.
However, before project could begin, the Centre wants the state to complete ongoing projects worth Rs 44,200.
Silverline is prepared by Kerala Rail Development Corporation (K-Rail), a joint venture of Ministry of Railways and Government of India.
This 100 per cent green project, on completion, will connect Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod. With a designed speed of 200 kilometres per hour, trains on the Silverline track can cover this distance of 532 kilometres in less than four hours, 8 hours less than what it takes now.
The line will have 11 stations namely Trivandrum, Kollam, Chengannur, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Nedumbassery Airport, Thrissur, Tirur, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod.
On Monday, Sitharaman, unveiling the Union Budget 2021, said that a sum of Rs 65,000 crore has been allocated for the development of 1,100 kilometres of the NH 6 corridor and Rs 1,957.05 crores for the second phase of the Kochi Metro.
With these in the works, Kerala's infrastructure and transportation network is looking at brighter days.