Don’t place big ‘K-Rail’ stones, survey can go on: Kerala HC tells govt

Express News Service | Published: 24th December 2021 06:05 AM
Kerala High Court (File Photo| A Sanesh, EPS)

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Thursday directed the state government to refrain from placing big survey stones with the marking ‘K-Rail’ and taking possession of properties belonging to the landowners for the Thiruvananthapuram–Kasaragod semi high-speed rail corridor (SilverLine) project. However, the court said the revenue and survey officials can go ahead with the survey under the Kerala Survey and Boundaries Act.

The court issued the order on a petition filed by Kottayam natives Muralikrishnan, Kurian T Kurian and P A Johnikutty challenging the government’s move to take possession of their properties under the guise of land acquisition which is not permitted by placing concrete survey stones with the ‘K-Rail’ marking. 

The HC order comes amid protests from various parts of the state against the SilverLine project, which aims to create a rail corridor that could take passengers from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod and vice-versa in four hours via the semi high-speed rail project. The video of a family threatening to die by suicide in Adichanalloor village of Kollam district when the officials were trying to complete the land acquisition procedures on Monday went viral on social media.

A joint venture agreement was entered between the Union ministry of railways and the Government of Kerala for infrastructure development of the railways for the project. A company — Kerala Rail Development Corporation Ltd (K-Rail) — was formed to execute the ambitious project. 

The government had assured the court that it would proceed with the project only after getting concurrence from the Central government as well as the Railway Board and other statutory authorities. To date, the Centre and Railway Board have not given formal sanction for the project, the petitioners said.

The petitioners also alleged that the authorities are unleashing a state of terror with the use of a large contingent of police personnel, threatening and encroaching upon their properties and houses. Till December 10, around 90 cases have been registered across the state against the protesters of the Kerala government’s showpiece project with Kozhikode district accounting for the most number.

Tags : K-Rail Kerala High Court

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