Kerala

Call to suspend social impact study for SilverLine project

A survey stone for the proposed SilverLine project being removed from a paddy field in Parakkadavu panchayat in Ernakulam district.

A survey stone for the proposed SilverLine project being removed from a paddy field in Parakkadavu panchayat in Ernakulam district.

Amid raging protest against the SilverLine project, the Anti-K Rail SilverLine People’s Struggle Committee has raised questions about the credibility of the government-appointed agency that has begun a social impact assessment in Payyanur.

The committee, which met on Sunday, demanded that the assessment be immediately stopped and questioned the competence of the agency which was collecting details from people. The committee termed the questions in the 17-page questionnaire for the assessment as “extremely farcical”.

P.C. Vivek, convener of the committee in Kannur asked, “Since the project boundary and buffer zone have not been brought to the notice of the people, on what basis are they being asked about the land to be acquired and its direct impact? Since survey stones have been laid, it is improper to ask landowners about the number of such stones and the geographical area where they are laid. The committee said it was improper to classify the affected people on the basis of religion and caste and APL and BPL categories. “Information such as family members’ names, personal details, particulars about property, employment, and monthly income are more likely to be misused, “Mr. Vivek said.

The questionnaire is designed in such a way that it indirectly says that the people are willing to give up their land for the project. Such a move cannot be allowed, the committee said. It observed that experts had held that the SilverLine project could be environmentally, socially and economically detrimental to Kerala. This is more or less accepted in the detailed project report too.

The government must abandon the project in public interest. Its plan to go ahead with the project will force people to come out to the streets at a time when COVID cases are spiralling. “The farcical social impact study and laying of survey stones should be stopped immediately,” the committee said. Committee district chairman A.P. Badaruddin, K.P. Chandrangathan, V.K. Raveendran, M.K. Jayarajan, K.V. Chandran, and R. Aparna spoke.


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Printable version | May 21, 2022 1:25:12 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/call-to-suspend-social-impact-study-for-silverline-project/article38315508.ece