Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 18 April 2024 7.24 PM IST

SilverLine project: Cannot give up land, says Railways; can be rerouted, says Kerala


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With Southern Railway clarifying that it cannot hand over the railway land for the SilverLine project, K-Rail is gearing up to change the design of the project, including the alignment. The Railway refused to give up land saying that doing so would negatively impact current lines and hinder future development. Hence, the K-Rail is planning to change the alignment up to 10m without affecting the current railway system and to put the tracks over the flyovers or underground for longer distances. K-Rail has also made an offer to take up land and hand it over to the Railway instead of the land given up by the Railway. Although K-Rail informed about this in the discussion with the Railways, the Palakkad and Thiruvananthapuram Divisions opposed it.

K-Rail has to acquire 108 hectares of railway land in 9 districts. However, the Railways is opposing this stating that this will eliminate the possibility of future development of railway stations and lines. SilverLine's Kozhikode, Kannur and Thrissur stations are entirely on railway land. These are the stations to be developed by the Rail Land Development Authority. SilverLine does not have the mandatory 8m distance from existing lines in most places. Hence, track maintenance will be impossible. The SilverLine elevated track will pass over the proposed site in Kozhikode where a station is to be built for ro-ro service. Even the land allotted for widening the National Highway to six lanes is being demanded for the SilverLine.

The proposed route of the SilverLine is adjacent to the existing railway tracks in Thiruvananthapuram, Angamaly and Aluva. If the railway gives up land in Kazhakootam, its remaining land will become useless. The proposed route of SilverLine passes through the Railway's safety zones in 17 places. It will adversely affect railway development in Kottayam. The Thrissur station will be divided into two if railway land is given up for SilverLine station. The current plans to increase the speed of Vande Bharat trains to 160 kmph by straightening the sharp curves will also be adversely affected. The Railways also clarified that it will not give away the areas next to stations that are set aside for commercial use.

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