Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 04 February 2023 11.04 AM IST

K-Rail cases must be scrapped


The government has temporarily withdrawn from the semi high-speed K-Rail project that would have been a milestone in development of the state. This is due to the fact that the government failed to take the people into confidence and for not doing its homework well. For a project like this the first thing to do was to get the approval from the central government. Without getting a official nod from the center, the government began to implement the project thus earning the enmity of the people and incurring huge loses.

Though, the Chief Minister and the other minister in the Cabinet say that the government has not withdrawn from the Silver Line project, the central government’s stance show that it is highly unlikely to be implemented.

The government has already taken steps to stop the survey and social impact study in the face of stiff opposition. These works will be done only after the Railway Board gives the permission to the project. The officials appointed for confiscating land has been called back and reappointed to the road development projects.

Though, K-Rail won’t be a reality, we can find comfort that the development of roads in the state will be done in a speedy manner. The Rs.50 crores spent for the K-Rail project is now lost. The question remains that why the state government began the process of confiscating land even before getting approval from the center.

As the government withdraws from the K-Rail project, the question in everyone’s mind is what will be the future of the hundreds of cases the police registered during the protests against the project. When the project has been placed in limbo, the only remaining thing are these cases. At the end of every protest, the argument will be about the cases registered during the conflict. Usually, in mass protests, the cases that carry grave charges will be taken forward. In time, even such cases will be written off.

Thousand persons were charged in the anti-Silver Line project. As the project activities are wound up, there must be a review in to these cases. Everyone knows the difficulties to both the people who are charged and to the government in continuing with these cases. Therefore, without enmity the government must show the magnanimity to withdraw those cases that can be avoided.

It was found that 955 hectares of land was needed for the Silver Line project. As the government has not announced the notification of withdrawing from the project, the owners of these lands are anxious. Though, the government said that it has not banned the selling of these lands, it is unlikely that people will buy a land which was on the survey list. The banks are not ready to give loans on these lands. Like the sword of Damocles, Silver Line, is hovering above the heads of these land owners.

As long as the government is saying that the project will be restarted once it gets the central government’s approval, thousands of people living on the proposed rail line’s path will be under stress. This is a big human suffering than we can imagine. Everyone is expecting a generous approach from the government on this issue.

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