Kerala Rail Development Corporation Ltd (K-Rail), the implementing agency of the Silver Line Semi-High Speed Rail Corridor project, has said the project requires less land compared to other alignments and that higher compensation would be offered for the land acquired for the project that will connect Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod.
“The alignment was chosen in such a manner that the line passes through the least populated areas with minimum land acquisition,” said V Ajith Kumar, Managing Director of K-Rail, which is a joint venture of the Union Ministry of Railways and the Government of Kerala. Compensation for the land acquired will be two to four times the market value, he added.
According to him, the land acquisition, compensation and rehabilitation proceedings will be conducted in a transparent manner under the provisions of Land Acquisition Act, 2013. The statement said laying a new railway line parallel to the existing Thiruvananthapuram-Mangaluru line would not be feasible as the curves on the route would be a hindrance in achieving the targeted speed of 200km per hour. Justifying the use of standard gauge instead of broad gauge, K-Rail said it required less land and was in line with international standards.
“There is no basis for the argument that Silver Line will impede movement of pedestrians, as there will be facilities every 500m for people to move. Besides, people across the state will benefit from the project through the proposed last mile connectivity,” said Ajith Kumar.
To leave normal life undisturbed, underground tunnels have been proposed in hilly regions and high density locations like Kozhikode. “Cut and cover technology will be adopted at different places to avoid impact on houses. House lifting technologies will be used wherever possible to shift the affected structures to nearby locations. Retention walls will be built for the safety of houses close to the corridor,” said the statement.