State seeks Centre’s support for Silverline

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking the Centre’s support for Kerala’s proposed semi high-speed railway project, Silverline.

He said the project was in tune with the Centre's National Rail Plan (NRP) announced in the Union Budget. “The construction of the pan-India future-ready railway system will catalyse massive economic growth and improve ease of living,” Mr. Vijayan said.

The Chief Minister told the Prime Minister that the project was part of a memorandum submitted under the NRP when the two leaders met in New Delhi in July. Mr. Vijayan said he had discussed the project with Union Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnav. However, Mr. Vaishnaw had ‘‘expressed concern in sanctioning the project due to the present financial position of the Indian railways.”

The Chief Minister said the Silverline would augment Indian Railways’ revenue. He enclosed a report of the Kerala Rail Development Corporation Ltd (K-Rail) on how the Railways would financially benefit from the project that sought to reduce travel time between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod drastically. The report highlighted the project's anticipated contributions to the Indian Railway system. The Silverline would benefit Kerala and the country at a stroke.

It would aid economic development and improve the environment.

The Centre and State had agreed to bear the cost of land acquisition, an estimated ₹13,700 crore. In principle, they agreed to meet the liability arising from any default on external debt obligation undertaken by K-rail.

Mr. Vijayan pointed out that without the land acquisition, the project’s equity internal rate of return is 13.55% and hence viable as per the agreement between the Ministry of Railways and the Government of Kerala.

Mr. Vijayan requested the personal intervention of Mr. Modi to accord sanction for the Silverline. He said the project would be a milestone in Kerala's progress.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 1:54:51 PM |

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