Pinarayi Vijayan has asked the PM to approve the Bullet train in Kerala., The Silver Line semi-high-speed rail project from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod will benefit not only Kerala but the entire country, according to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting his approval.
The Kerala government has already agreed to cover the entire land acquisition cost of Rs 13,700 crore, according to the CM’s letter dated December 6, 2021.
According to Vijayan, the state government has promised in principle to cover the liabilities arising from any default by the Kerala Rail Development Corporation Ltd (K-Rail) on its external debt obligations for the project.
According to his letter, the project was discussed in July with Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, who expressed reservations about sanctioning it due to the Indian Railways’ current financial situation.
In this context, Vijayan stated that the project’s equity internal rate of return, excluding land acquisition costs, was 13.55 percent, indicating that it was viable as per the agreement between the Ministry of Railways and the Government of Kerala.
The letter was written in response to the Congress-led opposition’s harsh criticism of the Left government’s ambitious project.
The high court has served notice on the state government and K-Rail, asking for their views on the petition, which seeks disdain action against them for failing to follow through on a promise they made to the court in January that they would continue with the project only after receiving approval from the Centre, the Railway Board, and other statutory bodies.
The Congress-led UDF opposition to the Silver Line project, which is expected to cut travel time from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod to around four hours, claims it is “unscientific and impractical” and will put a huge financial burden on the state.
K-Rail, a joint venture between the Kerala government and the Railway Ministry for developing railway infrastructure in the southern state, will build the 532-kilometer stretch from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod.