Kerala CM to Go Ahead with K-Rail Project

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:
Come what may, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is adamant that his pet project K-Rail will go forward and he is getting ready to discuss this project with an invited audience.

In Delhi on Thursday, Kerala Finance Minister K.N. Balagopal, who is finding it hard to meet the state’s expenses, as the state coffers are practically empty and going forward with the borrowed money, also spoke the language of Vijayan.

“We are going forward with the K-Rail project. We will tell the people why this is needed for our state. All the fears would be cleared,” said Balagopal.

If completed, it will set up a 529.45 km corridor connecting Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod and a high speed train which will run this distance will complete its journey in around four hours and though Vijayan claims it will cost around Rs 64,000 crore, a preliminary examination by Niti Aayog says it will cost in excess of Rs one lakh crore.

With Metroman E. Sreedharan describing this as an idiotic proposal, the BJP has already slammed the project, while the Congress led UDF says this is nothing but a project to pocket commission for the CPI-M and also exposed the double standard by releasing the tweet of CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechuri of staunchly opposing a similar project Mumabi-Ahmedabad bullet train, but gave the green signal to Vijayan’s pet project.

Meanwhile, as the first step of fire-fighting, Vijayan will be meeting an invited audience of people at Kochi and the state capital, where the project will be explained in detail, while at the other 12 districts, state cabinet ministers will do the talking.

A media critic on condition of anonymity said these so called invited audience meetings is nothing but an eyewash.

“Invites will be sent to only those whose political leanings are known, so there will be less questions asked and even if questions are asked, it could well be a stage-managed one. The need of the hour is not presenting it before an invited audience but let it happen in the floor of the assembly as there is going to be the upcoming budget session next month,” said the critic who did not wish to be named.

Iscea

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