K-Rail stir adds legal, political dimension to free project land

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had stated in the state assembly that no land for the project has been acquired and the order that has come out will not be withdrawn.

Published: 14th December 2022 04:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th December 2022 04:04 AM   |  A+A-

K Rail Conundrum

For representational purposes (Soumyadip Sinha | Express Illustrations)

Express News Service

KOCHI: Along with the protest against the SilverLine project, which has been demanding the withdrawal of cases registered against protesters and scraping of the project, K-Rail agitators will also spearhead a legal and political battle for getting back land demarcated for the social impact-assessment study. The concern of thousands of affected people is that if the project is delayed indefinitely the demarcated land will lie idle.

The decision of the state government to redeploy officials posted to land-acquisition units for the SilverLine project had rekindled hope among the affected people that the government was backtracking on its dream project. However, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s statement that the project has not been shelved and that the Centre has not informed the state government that the detailed project report is incomplete forced the agitators to go ahead with the protest.

Against the backdrop of the CM’s statement, the anti-SilverLine committee held a meeting in Kochi on Tuesday and decided to continue the agitation. Taking the protest against the SilverLine project to the next level, protesters plan to lay a siege to the state assembly during its next session. A mass petition with one crore signatures will be submitted to the Chief Minister and Union railway minister demanding the withdrawal of the project and cases against the protesters. If the government goes ahead with the project, they will launch a campaign with the slogan ‘No K-Rail, Thrikkakara will repeat in Kerala’ citing that the results in Thrikkakara will be repeated in the next election.

“The government should realise that the Thrikkakara bypoll result will be repeated if the cases are not withdrawn,” said M P Mathai, patron of the State Anti-K-Rail Janakeeya Samiti. He said the project will not be allowed to be implemented under any circumstance and that the strike will continue.

“Currently, several petitions are before the High Court. We will also approach the court seeking cancellation of the notification for the acquisition of about 1,000 hectares of land,” said M P Baburaj, chairman of State Anti-K-Rail Janakeeya Samiti.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had stated in the state assembly that no land for the project has been acquired and the order that has come out will not be withdrawn. “Just because a study will be done does not mean that land will be acquired. The cases registered against the protesters will not be withdrawn,” he said.

Joseph M Puthussery, former MLA, said the government itself has admitted that K-Rail is a government-sponsored hooliganism by encroaching on private properties. “So the government has the responsibility to withdraw all fabricated cases,” he said. The State Anti-K-Rail Janakeeya Samiti was constituted on November 8, 2020.

India Matters


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