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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 27 November 2021 5.12 AM IST

Take up that Challenge

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The non-cooperation from the side of the railways towards Pinarayi government's biggest dream, the semi-high-speed rail (Silver Line project, was not expected at all. It is when you have a detailed project in hand that you come up with doubts that have not been raised before. Doubts will be reasonably raised about the financial liability that the mega project would incur. It is estimated to cost Rs 63941 crore. It should not be forgotten that Kerala has approached the Railways and the Center for final approval only after finding a way to make half of the investment on its own. No state implements such big projects with money from its own coffers. It is common to find capital from a variety of sources.
The state intends to follow the same path in the construction of the Thiruvananthapuram-Kasargod Silver Line. A portion of the loan will be borne by the State and the Centre. Most of the loans are from foreign financial institutions. It is estimated to be Rs 33,700 crore. In the event of the Centre refusing to take responsibility for the foreign loan required for the construction of the Silver Line, the Chief Minister has taken the position before the Centre that the State will bear it itself if necessary. There are three or four foreign agencies that are willing to lend. The only condition they have is that the centre should give the guarantee for the loan. The Centre should not be reluctant to give only that guarantee as it has made it clear that the State is ready to take over the entire liability. The benefits of the new rail project are not limited to the four-hour journey from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod. This will open a bright chapter in the all-round development path of the state. Kerala's Silver Line is one of the new railway developments planned by the Centre to be completed by 2030. Retreating from it for every reason is just another example of the decades of neglect shown to the state. The construction of the Silver Line will provide employment to half a lakh people. It will also pave the way for tens of thousands of new jobs in the railways. Considering the developments in the tourism sector, the K-Rail project will open up a livelihood for many others.

In the case of any big project, protests and unintentional criticisms are natural. It is only with determination that one can overcome all these and reach the goal. There has to be such a determination and determination in the case of the Silver Line. The Center should take steps to grant the necessary clearances as the State has informed that it is ready to take full responsibility. When it comes to Kerala, the old practice of turning its back at the state should be done away with.

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