Governor Khan wrote to Centre seeking nod for SilverLine

Governor Arif Mohammed Khan had personally intervened to expedite the Centre’s approval for SilverLine project, reveals documents released by the state government.

Published: 05th July 2022 06:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th July 2022 06:16 AM   |  A+A-

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan ( File Photo)

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan ( File Photo)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Governor Arif Mohammed Khan had personally intervened to expedite the Centre’s approval for SilverLine project, reveals documents released by the state government. Khan wrote two letters - first to then Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on December 24, 2020 and then to Goyal’s successor Ashwini Vaishnaw on August 16, 2021 - seeking to expedite the approval for the project. 

The act of the Governor to directly seek Centre’s help in state’s governance is unusual. “Earlier, Governors used to forward memorandums received at Raj Bhavan to union ministries concerned with a forwarding note. This is entirely different from that practice and here Governor directly makes a request to a union minister who is three steps lower in protocol hierarchy,” said a senior official. 

It is learnt that the governor decided to write the first letter following a request from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and a meeting with K-Rail MD and senior officials. The K-Rail officials apprised the governor of the importance of the project and requested his help for realizing the project.

 Khan wrote the second letter within days of Ashwini Vaishnaw taking charge as the railway minister. He congratulated the minister on the new responsibility and invited his attention to earlier letter he had sent to Piyush Goyal. The letter referred to the CM meeting PM Narendra Modi and Railway minister Vaishnaw of July 13, 2021, with a demand for speedy approval of the detailed project report for SilverLine. 

A source in Raj Bhavan said the governor intervened in the matter when there were no big controversies regarding land acquisition and survey. “He took a stand that protests were serious in nature and needed a more strategic handling earlier this year,” he said. The letter by the governor is part of the documents shared by the CM with MPs from Kerala during the MPs’ conference convened on Saturday ahead of the parliament session.



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