Kerala’s ambitious Silverline semi-high speed rail project is a ‘foolish decision’ – E Sreedharan

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Kerala's ambitious Silverline semi-high speed rail project is a 'foolish decision' - E Sreedharan

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Kochi, India (Urban Transport News): Metroman E Sreedharan criticized the Kerala government’s ambitious Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod semi-high speed rail project named Silverline. He says that the government’s decision to implement the Silverline project is not objective and the project could be a white elephant.

Talking about construction and safety related issues, Sreedharan said, “The alignment chosen is flawed. From Tirur to Kasaragod, it runs parallel to the existing railway line. The railways have opposed this alignment as it is part of this section. Will interfere with future quadruple. Also, the 140 km line passes through paddy fields, which are not stable for high speed travel.” He said that high walls need to be constructed on both sides of the tracks to prevent trespass, free passage and drainage.

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“This would be equivalent to the Wall of China and divide Kerala from north to south. This is a foolish decision. Silverline should be away from the existing line, either elevated or underground. High-speed or semi-high-speed anywhere in the world.” Speed ​​is not the lines have been planned at the ground level,” he said.

The Silverline project envisages a 529.45 km long semi high-speed railway line passing through 11 districts of Kerala. When the project is realized, the journey from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram can be done in less than four hours in trains running at a speed of 200 km/h. According to the plan. The current travel time on the existing railway network is approximately 12 hours.

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Sreedharan, who contested as a BJP candidate from Palakkad assembly constituency, justified the party’s opposition to the Silverline project, saying the government had to supply people with false promises, wrong cost estimates, unrealistic completion dates and flawed technical standards. Not allowed to ride. , “Kerala is in financial crisis. How will it fund the Rs 1.1 lakh crore project? It is not viable,” he asked.

Sreedharan said, “Yes, BJP is against the Silverline project because the project that is being conceived now is completely against the interests of the state due to several reasons.”

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On technical parameters, he said Silverline has not been approved by Indian Railways, specifically gauges. The railways wants this line to serve as the third and fourth lines, so as to meet the existing line capacity. This is not possible with a standard gauge.

Ro-ro services are planned for the evening on Silverline to increase the revenue. “This is not practical, as maintenance requires night hours. Further, no final location survey has been conducted on the ground. Finalization of railway alignment based on Google Maps or Lidar survey is not acceptable, Especially when land acquisition is being done with undue haste when the actual final site survey is done, there will be a lot of changes, and half of the land acquisition will be wasted,” he explained.

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“No traffic surveys, no geotechnical surveys, no environmental studies and no social impact studies have been conducted. The prepared DPR is mostly based on assumptions and hypotheses. Naturally, cost estimates, traffic estimates and economics of the line are reliable. No. The contents of the DPR are kept secret,” Sreedharan said.

He also pointed out that the cost estimation has been suppressed on the ground that the line is at grade (ground level). The public will not agree to install the high-speed line on grade. This is the biggest objection to the project not only from the public, but also from railway experts, environmentalists and ecological reasons.

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“A semi high-speed line located on the grade will displace a large number of families. It is estimated that more than 20,000 families will have to be relocated. The land-hungry people of Kerala will not accept it,” he said.

According to his estimates, Silverline will cost Rs 75,000 crore at present and over Rs 1.1 lakh crore upon completion. “My estimate is based on the last approved rates of the Delhi Rapid Rail Transit System (RRTS), which has a maximum speed of 180 kmph,” he said.

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On Kerala Rail Development Corporation’s claim of completing the project by 2025, he said that it itself shows how ignorant the project agency is. Even the best executing agency in the country like Delhi Metro Rail Corporation would take eight to 10 years to complete such a project. K-Rail has not been able to commission even one of the 27 rail overbridges handed over by him in the last five years.

Responding to the CM’s allegation that the BJP was stalling development works in Kerala, Sreedharan asked what had prevented the DMRC from starting the most essential railway line from Nilambur to Nanjangud, giving the rail distance from Shoranur to Mysore 471 km and more. Down to Bangalore. 197 kms. The Karnataka government had given permission to DMRC to do this work. Extending the Thrissur-Guruvayoor line to Thirunavaya would have solved the heavy congestion at Shoranur Junction.

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“Why is the doubling work so slow in Kerala? Because the state government is unable to provide land. Who stopped the light metro projects in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode started by the UDF government? If the project is allowed to continue, the metro Trains will now run in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode. The high-speed railway started in 2010 by the VS Achuthanandan government was stopped in 2016? Surprisingly, even among the LDF, many are against the Silverline project, but not allowing them The state government’s attempt to sideline the Railway Board by offering to bear the full cost of the project would be a complete mistake. Who authorized this government to make this impossible commitment? Not our MLAs , “They said.

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