SilverLine Project | Kerala yet to submit new documents, says Railway Minister

 Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw
Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw

New Delhi: Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw clarified in the Lok Sabha that the Kerala Government has not provided any new documents or sufficient details about the proposed SilverLine semi high-speed rail project.

The Minister reiterated that there is no sufficient explanation on the technical details in the detailed project report (DPR).

"That the DPR has been submitted does not mean that the railway land has been given. As the project cost is high, the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs will also be needed,” he explained.

CPM, Congress MPs spar

Congress MP from Kerala Hibi Eden sought to know if the Centre was aware of the environmental issues. "The government is hiding several issues. How can in-principle approval be given for such a project?"

MP Benny Behanan too alleged that it is an unrealistic project which will divide the densely populated Kerala, and urged that the sanction should not be given. He also demanded that the basic infrastructure in Kerala should be developed and train speed should be increased.

Congress chief whip Kodikunnil Suresh gave the breach of privilege notice, while alleging misconduct by the Chengannur inspector during the protest against laying stones for the project survey. During the Zero Hour, he said that CPM goondas, revenue officials, and CPM-sympathisers who are working with the Kerala Rail Development Corporation Ltd (K-Rail) were unleashing violence under the pretext of laying survey stones.

Dilli mai dosti, Kerala mai kushti’

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw poked fun at the CPM-Congress camaraderie at the national level and their hostility in Kerala.

"I do not understand this politics of "Dilli mai dosti, Kerala mai kushti" (that roughly translates to friends in Delhi, foes in Kerala)," Vaishnaw said.

The Minister's statement was in response to the sparring between Congress and CPM parliamentarians over the Silverline project.

CPM's A M Ariff said that the SilverLine project was promised in the Left Democratic Front's poll manifesto and thus it has the approval of the public. But Congress MPs K Muraleedharan, Dean Kuriakose, T N Prathapan and others objected to this.

"None of us agree to this," Muraleedharan said out loud.

But when Ariff said that the project is in the national rail plan and is also a project of the Centre, there was an uproar. BJP members called out that both the Congress and CPM are together on all issues and why are they arguing over this.

Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee reminded that both the parties are together in West Bengal as well.

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