January 4, 2022 5:59:05 pm
Amid intense criticism by opposition parties against the implementation of its flagship Silver Line rail project, the Kerala government on Tuesday convened a meeting of stakeholders, dignitaries and representatives of various organisations to explain various aspects of the venture and announced a rehabilitation package for those to be affected by it.
Addressing the meeting held at the Jimmy George stadium here, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan continued to rubbish the concerns by the opposition regarding the project and said it is envisaged as a complete green initiative and would implement with lesser social impact.
A compensation and relief package worth Rs 13,265 crore would be implemented for the affected persons who would lose their buildings, property and other belongings.
Making it clear that the mammoth project is inevitable for the development of the state and the government would go ahead with its implementation, he said certain people were putting up stiff resistance when they were coming ahead with such pro-initiatives for the state.
He also alleged that certain “vested interests” were behind such opposition. Detailing about the ‘green” aspect of the multi-crore project, connecting the south and north ends of the state, Vijayan said it would be a complete eco-friendly project and was designed taking into consideration the recent floods and other natural calamities that ravaged the state.
Assuring that no reserve forest or water bodies would be adversely impacted by the Silver Line project, he claimed that it would result in reducing the carbon emission.
The estimated cost of the project is Rs 63,941 crore and it is expected to be completed by 2025. Over 46,000 people are expected to use the rail service daily, he said adding that 50,000 jobs would be generated through the mega initiative.
Of this, 11,000 job openings would be created during the implementation stage itself.
“As many as 9,300 buildings are estimated to be taken over as part of the implementation of the Silver Line. An amount of Rs 13,625 crore is set aside for the compensation alone. In villages, it is planned to give upto four-fold the market price. In cities, it will be up to two fold,” he said announcing the package.
He also made it clear that the government was trying its best to implement the project with lesser social impact.
Besides ministers and peoples’ representatives, invited representatives of various organisations and media heads also took part in the meeting, convened by the government.
However, opposition Congress slammed the explanatory meeting convened by the government and said it was this same government which was not ready to discuss it on the floor of the House.
Alleging that it was a meeting for the “elite class” of the society, leader of opposition V D Satheesan also charged the government with going ahead with the huge project ‘forgetting’ the common people.
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