Amid uncertainty persisting over external funding, the Kerala Government appears to be moving ahead with the infrastructure needs for the approximately ₹63,941-crore SilverLine semi-high-speed rail project.
On Saturday, Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (K-Rail) held talks with the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) for sourcing electricity for operating the trains. The Revenue Department also issued a modified order for acquiring 1,221 ha in 11 districts.
After discussions between V. Ajith Kumar, Managing Director, K-Rail, and KSEB Chairman and Managing Director B. Ashok and senior transmission wing officials, the KSEB said a detailed project report on the power requirements for the project would be prepared in three months.
The KSEB estimates indicate that the power requirement for the project will be quite substantial. Initially, it will require 300 million units (mu) annually, which can go up to 500 mu in 25 years. The KSEB will also need to shift 72 extra-high tension (EHT) power lines and 2,000 high tension/low tension power lines from the path of the project.
Eight substations will be specially established for the project at Pallipuram, Kundara, Kottayam, Angamaly, Kunnamkulam, Elathur, Chovva, and Kanhangad. The 110 KV line for the project will be situated 15.56 metres above the tracks. The 220-KV line will be at a height of 16.4 metres, and the 400 KV at 18 metres. The KSEB has also appointed two nodal officers for the SilverLine power supply initiative.
The KSEB will conduct a feasibility study on whether ‘green’ energy can be supplied in entirety for SilverLine. The KSEB will also study whether green energy produced elsewhere in the country can be sourced for it. If needed, a special purpose vehicle will be established for the purpose.
At the stations and wherever possible along the tracks, solar panels and wind turbines will be established, according to the KSEB.
On another front, the Revenue Department partially modified an August 18 order according sanction for acquiring 1,221 ha in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur, and Kasaragod. The posts of a special deputy collector and 11 special tahsildars (land acquisition) also have been created for the purpose.