New Delhi, India (Urban Transport News): The Central Government has informed the Kerala state government of its inability to bear the liability of the loans to be availed from international agencies for the implementation of their ambitious semi high-speed rail project (Silver Line) that would enable travel from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod in four hours.
Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw conveyed the decision of the Central Government to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who met him in New Delhi last week with the request to give the final approval for the Thiruvananthapuram - Kasaragod Semi High-Speed Rail project.
Commenting on the Central Government's decision, Union Minister V Muraleedharan said that Railway Ministry is of the view that Kerala's Silverline high-speed rail project in its current form is 'unnecessary'. "I have held discussions on the Silverline project with officials of the Railway Board, Railway Ministry and the Railway Minister himself. They are of the view that there is no need for a new railway line in the state," said Muraleedharan.
"Railway Ministry has asked the state whether the existing railway line could be developed to facilitate high-speed travel. After making technical upgradations to the existing lines, trains with speeds of up to 200-250 kmph can be operated," he informed.
The Central Government's decision to not bear the cost of the ambitious semi high-speed rail project (Silver Line) is very disappointing as the Centre is also supporting the Gujarat Government's Ahmedabad-Rajkot Semi High-Speed Rail Project. The Railway Ministry has major shares in this project.
The proposed 530.6 km semi high speed rail corridor (Silver Line) will connect Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod with 11 stations. The estimated cost of this project is Rs 63,941 crores. The Railway Ministry has given 'in principal' approval to this project.