THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, hopes have brightened for the realisation of some of the flagship projects in the state. Among the various subjects listed in the agenda, the proposed semi-high-speed rail project (SilverLine) will get special emphasis as the CM is planning to meet the Union railway minister too.
“The flagship semi-high-speed project awaits a slew of approvals from the Centre which the CM would take up with the prime minister and other ministers. The detailed project report for the rail project has to be ratified by the railway ministry. The approval of the department of economic affairs under the Union Finance Ministry is also necessary, which is one of the main criteria for ensuring foreign bank loans for the project,” said a source.
The Union cabinet nod is also important for which the finance ministry has to approve the project. The state cabinet has given approval for land acquisition when the railway ministry accorded in-principal approval. But to move ahead, other approvals are necessary which is expected to take three to six months if the CM can convince the Centre.
Pinarayi to seek development of existing rail lines
Pinarayi is also expected to meet Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, for which an appointment is yet to be confirmed. The state would seek his cooperation to complete the national highway projects in a time-bound manner. In his meeting with Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, the CM will seek the development of existing rail lines.
Issues relating to expatriates, including a lack of flights to various West Asian countries that has affected the movement of Malayali expatriates, would be taken up. Covid aid, survival package for returnees, assistance for the development of the Kottappuram-Kozhikode waterway, and a time-bound release of GST dues are some of the topics the CM would take up with various ministers.
As per the schedule confirmed on Monday evening, Pinarayi on Tuesday will meet Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs and for Petroleum, at 12.30pm and P K Mishra, Principal Secretary to the PM at 3pm. He is slated to meet the PM at 4pm. The appointment for meetings with Gadkari and Vaishnaw is yet to be confirmed.