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K-Rail to replace stone-laying with GPS-enabled survey for social impact study on SilverLine

16 May 2022

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], May 16 (ANI): Kerala government on Monday decided to drop the on-site social impact study for the K-Rail's SilverLine semi high-speed rail corridor and decided to opt for a GPS-enabled study instead.

The move comes amid protests against laying survey stones on the private properties without prior intimation to the landowners. Those opposing the move of the project had asked the government to go for the technology-enabled system instead of the stone-laying in the wake of protests and emotional scenes on the sites.

Kerala High court had asked the government if the stone laying was done as per the manual of the revenue department. The case against the method of survey is still pending in the High Court.

The order states that Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited should assist the social impact assessment (SIA) team to identify the alignment either by GPS survey equipment or mobile phones with GPS facility as proposed so that the SIA team may identify the project affected persons and collect the data properly.

The State Government order to proceed with the Land Acquisition as per subsection (2) of section (8) of Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 will be issued only after getting final approval for the project from the Railway board.

Two weeks ago, an altercation erupted between the Congress workers and the police in Thiruvananthapuram when the officials had arrived to lay stones in Kazhakkottam.

The clash between the officials and the Congress workers soon aggravated when the police officials took charge and pushed back the protestors from Congress.

The semi high-speed rail project, which is known as the Silverline Project, aims to connect Kasaragod in the north to Thiruvananthapuram in the south minimizing a twelve-hour long distance to four hours. It was started by the Pinarayi Vijayan government during its second term.

The current government has started laying survey stones for the project across the state and the locals had been protesting against the project including the Congress and BJP citing feasibility reasons. (ANI)

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