Stung by the inordinate delay in getting the final approval for Kerala’s ambitious SilverLine semi-high-speed project from the Centre, the State Government has decided to redeploy the Revenue Department officials deputed for the land acquisition works of the project in 11 districts to other essential projects. Further, the State has also decided not to issue a fresh notification for holding the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) of the project in view of the delay in getting the final nod for the project from the Railway Board.
A proposal of Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (K-Rail) to issue a renotification for the SIA of the project was pending before Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan after the time allotted for various agencies for the study has expired. A government order issued by the Revenue Department in Thiruvananthapuram on November 27 said the staff posted in the land acquisition units for SilverLine project may be called back immediately and be considered for the redeployment of the staff to other essential projects.
Further, the fresh notifications to conduct the SIA study with regard to the acquisition of 1,221 hectares in various villages of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod districts for the project may be done once the approval from Railway Board for the project is received, the order said.
The Revenue Department officials deployed for the acquisition works were idling in the land acquisition units for about six months after the State Government stopped the acquisition works and erecting boundary stones on the identified lands following a strong public protest. The project envisages travelling from the south of the State to the north through a dedicated rail network at a maximum speed of 200 km covering 530 km distance in four hours.
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