Raising waterlogging concerns, SilverLine stones submerge amid rain in Malappuram

Thirunavaya: Even as fears of environmental risks posed by the proposed SilverLine project persist, waterlogging has been reported from a stretch where the survey stones have been laid by the Kerala Rail Development Corporation Ltd (K-Rail).

After several survey stones laid along Vengaloor, near here in Malappuram district, were submerged amid recent rains local residents claimed it was a pointer to what might happen if rail lines are laid.

Earlier K-Rail Managing Director Ajith Kumar had assured that there would be no waterlogging in areas through which the proposed SilverLine would pass in the district. But just as the rain intensified in the district, several areas along the proposed route at South Pallar in Thirunavaya have been inundated.

The water level is rising in the paddy fields of South Pallar and the nearby backwaters. If it continues to rain, the nearby houses will also be inundated, the residents pointed out.

During an explanatory meeting on SilverLine held in Malappuram in January, the K-Rail MD had sought to allay fears of waterlogging in areas through which the track would pass through. To prove his point, the MD said that rail tracks in the district were not inundated even during the last floods.

But the local residents have rejected these contentions. During the massive floods of 2018, the tracks at the Thirunavaya railway station had been flooded. They also point out that the existing railway line from Tirur to Thirunavaya is at a height of 5m. The local residents are concerned that if the SilverLine is constructed at the same height, the water in the south Pallar area would not drain out.

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