Kerala

SilverLine undemocratic and non-sustainable, says Medha Patkar

Social activist Medha Patkar at the inauguration of a meet organised by Anti-SilverLine Protest Committee in Kannur on Sunday.

Social activist Medha Patkar at the inauguration of a meet organised by Anti-SilverLine Protest Committee in Kannur on Sunday. | Photo Credit: S.K. Mohan

Social activist Medha Patkar on Sunday said the semi-high-speed SilverLine project was “undemocratic, non-sustainable, and unjust.”

Addressing ‘No to K-Rail, Yes to Kerala’, a meet organised by the Anti-SilverLine Protest Committee here on Sunday, Ms. Patkar said the project followed a development paradigm which was against “truly acceptable priorities and processes.”

She said that natural resource management and priorities in the name of development did not ensure equity, sustainability, and justice, and that the project would divide society.

She further said that whether it was SilverLine or bullet train, it was the same bilateral agency, Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA), which brought money and technology. And, the technology is reportedly outdated and a failure in Japan.

Any government which considers itself Leftist should not go for projects like SilverLine or bullet train, Ms. Patkar said. She reminded that many Left leaders, who were part of the farmers’ protest, were against the project.

She said that projects executed without making social and environmental impact studies hit the common people hard, which was evident after the Narmada project was implemented. “No hydrological or geophysical studies have been done for the SilverLine project, which will divide the State, and it will have huge environmental impact,” she added.

Pointing out that though the Chief Minister had said that the government was self-reliant as far as the SilverLine project was concerned, Ms. Patkar said the government had failed to implement the Supreme Court order to provide solatium and rehabilitation support to several endosulfan victims in Kasaragod.

It is unacceptable that the government has not compensated many endosulfan victims citing lack of funds, she said. Earlier on Sunday, she met endosulfan victims in Kasaragod.


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Printable version | Jun 6, 2022 1:04:35 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/silverline-undemocratic-and-non-sustainable-says-medha-patkar/article65447635.ece