The detailed project report (DPR) of SilverLine is a fabricated document strewn with technical glitches and it is quite unlikely for the project to get approval from the Centre, technocrat E. Sreedharan said here on Tuesday.
“The project is technologically not stable and the DPR has several factual errors making it more of an imaginary piece of work. Even if it gets the nod, it will be conditional and the State government will require minimum two years to prepare a new DPR,” he said.
Mr. Sreedharan said since SilverLine cut through thickly populated and environmentally important areas, social and environmental impacts of the project should be studied in detail. “The project is likely to affect water drainage and normal flow due to the topographical features of the State. It will lead to floods and washouts.”
He alleged that the State government had misled the High Court to proceed with the high-speed rail project. “A considerable stretch of paddy fields will be lost and a lot of trees will have to be axed. It is important to conduct studies about the impact on drainage, forestation, agriculture and environment. So far no study has been launched.”
He also pointed out that since Kerala was a State with an average width of 60 km, constructing 400 km wall for the project would divide the State into two.
“When this issue was pointed out they said they will construct flyovers and subways. In that case the project requires around 800 overbridges or subways and the expense for the construction is not mentioned in the estimate. Each overbridge will require approach roads and the cost of land for the same is also missing. The DPR only mentions major bridges whereas the rail project will need thousands of minor bridges. That cost too is not included in the estimate,” he said.
Mr. Sreedharan said the 15-m width of the corridor for elevated tracks was inadequate. “It should be 35 m and the cost of buffer zone is not considered in the plan. A lot more land needs to be acquired for the project which means nearly 20,000 families, not the official 9000, will have to be relocated.”
He added that the best implementing agency for such a project in the country was Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited (DMRC) and even it would take around 10 years to complete the project. “Kerala government will take more than 20 years to complete the project.”
He observed that funding the project would be another issue with the State public debt crossing ₹3 lakh crore. “No sensible agency will offer loan for such a project,” he said.