Kerala HC yet again picks holes in proposed K-Rail project

A high speed train will run 529.45 km distance in around four hours and it will cost a staggering Rs 63,940 crore.

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Thursday gave another round of dressing down to the Pinarayi Vijayan led government over his proposed K-Rail project.

If completed the project will see a 529.45 km corridor connecting Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod and a high speed train will run this distance in around four hours and it will cost a staggering Rs 63,940 crore.

Hearing a bunch of petitions over land acquisition for the project, Justice Devan Ramachandran directed the State government to explain its actions taken in furtherance of its K-Rail project and to justify the manner in which the survey is conducted.

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The court wanted the state to explain its actions on how come a DPR can be conducted without doing a survey, but the court was informed that an aerial survey was undertaken.

During the last hearing, the Court had asked the Central government to clarify its stand regarding the project and to clear the ambiguity.

And on Thursday the counsel of the Centre stated that a decision on the matter was yet to be taken.

It also informed the court that they have told the project implementing agency — KRDCL to provide detailed technical documents such as an alignment plan, particulars of railway land and private land, crossing over the existing railway network depicting affected railway assets through Zonal Railway for a detailed examination of the project to arrive at a conclusion.

It further stated that the consideration of the project was only possible after examination of DPR and the results thereon are firmed up including the financial viability of the project and its appraisal by NITI Aayog and Ministry of Finance.

The court then inquired into the manner in which the survey was being conducted and to discern the basis of the survey being conducted and under which provision it was being done.

To this the Kerala government’s counsel said that it was being carried out under the Kerala Survey and Boundaries Act.

The court will now take up final hearing on February 7 until then steps for survey not in accordance with the Survey and Boundaries on the land involved was asked to be stopped.

In a related development, the cabinet ministers of Vijayan are reaching the district headquarters and are meeting with an invited audience explaining the project and on Thursday, angry Congress workers protested in front of the meeting place at Kannur when State Local Self Government Minister M.V. Govindan was explaining the project.

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