Thiruvananthapuram, India (Urban Transport News): Amid protests against the proposed ambitious Silverline (Thiruvananthapuram – Kasaragod Semi High Speed Rail) project in Kerala, the state government has published a detailed project report (DPR) with an estimated cost of Rs 63,941 crore.
According to the DPR, the project is expected to be completed by 2025 and will reduce the travel time from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod from 12 hours to just four hours. “The road traffic in the state has been growing at the rate of 10-11 per cent, while the increase in road length has been negligible. This has resulted in significant increase in road congestion,” the DPR said.
“Existing railways and road networks are not responsible for fast travel. Average speed by road and train in the state is the lowest among all regions in the country. Therefore, a need has been felt to develop the Silverline Corridor to meet the needs of the rapidly growing and growing economy and thereby curb high road-based greenhouse gas emissions,” the DPR said.
The 529.45 km cm high-speed corridor starts at Kochuveli near Thiruvananthapuram airport in Thiruvananthapuram district, and passes through Kollam, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Kannur districts before entering Kasaragod district. Of the eleven stations across Kerala, three of them—Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Thrissur—will be elevated, while Kannur will have an underground station.
“Silverline alignment is not passing through any notified area such as National Park, Wildlife Sanctuary, Biosphere Reserve and other ecologically sensitive areas. However, the alignment is somewhat parallel to one of the global biodiversity hotspots, the Western Ghats and hence the biodiversity The related impacts need to be carefully evaluated,” the DPR mentioned.
The idea of a high speed rail corridor between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod was first announced in the Kerala Budget 2009-10. To implement the project, the state government had set up a special purpose vehicle named Kerala High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (KHSRC) in 2009. After that, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) conducted a feasibility study and submitted its report in 2012. Government. But, the project was not implemented due to various factors including politics and the government eventually dissolved the KHSRC.
Later, the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government decided to build a special green field railway corridor between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod and the project was announced by the then Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac in the 2019-20 Kerala Budget.
Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (K-Rail), a joint venture between the Government of Kerala and the Ministry of Railways, has been given the responsibility of implementing the project.