Kerala wants SilverLine extended up to Mangaluru, eyes faster approval

The proposal was part of the agenda at the 30th Southern Zonal Council meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday.

Published: 04th September 2022 06:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th September 2022 06:28 AM   |  A+A-

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan presenting a memento to Union Home Minister Amit Shah during the Southern Zonal Council meet at Kovalam | Vincent Pulickal

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In an apparent bid to secure central clearance for SilverLine, the state is exploring the possibility of extending the semi high-speed rail project up to Mangaluru in Karnataka, so as to make it an inter-state project. The state has taken up the matter with Karnataka and the latter made it clear that it would examine the same after going through the detailed project report (DPR) and the route alignment. It’s learnt that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is likely to hold a discussion in this regard with his Karnataka counterpart Basavaraj Bommai in Bengaluru by the end of this month.

The proposal was part of the agenda at the 30th Southern Zonal Council meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday. However, the council meeting did not discuss the matter in detail. Sources said when the matter came up, it was suggested that a chief minister-level discussion would be ideal. Kerala is yet to get requisite sanctions from the Centre and Railways for the project. The state hopes that it will be able to secure sanction when SilverLine becomes an inter-state project.

‘SilverLine up to M’luru to benefit both states’

At the standing committee meeting of southern zonal council in May, Kerala had raised the demand for extending SilverLine. The state pointed out that there was huge demand from people in north Kerala to go to Mangaluru and hence, extending the same to Karnataka could benefit both states. Rejecting Railways’ objections against standard gauge, the state government had pointed out that high speed lines like the Mumbai-Ahmedabad line operate on standard gauge.

Sources said the Railways further pointed out its opposition towards the project being built on standard gauge and hence, cannot be integrated with existing railway network. The Railways is also apprehensive about the financial viability of the project. Two weeks ago the state government had urged the Union Railway Ministry to take a positive stand on SilverLine.

Union Minister Amit Shah said 30th Southern Zonal Council meeting discussed 26 issues of which nine were resolved. He said the ministry of home affairs is taking stringent measures to crack down on narcotics. 


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