Facing stiff oppn, Kerala govt's K-Rail survey to go hi-tech

by IANS |

Thiruvananthapuram, May 16 (IANS) Facing protests across the state against the social impact assessment survey for the K-Rail project, the Kerala government on Monday said that from now on the activity would be done by using the global positioning system.

If completed, the K-Rail project will see a 529.45 km corridor connecting Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod with semi-high speed trains covering the distance in around four hours.

Both the Congress and the BJP have said that this project is not needed for Kerala given the massive cost which they say will be in excess of Rs 1.50 lakh crore and would be an environmental and economic disaster and a huge burden for the next generation.

Ever since the survey began whenever the K-Rail officials went to lay the yellow marking stones, massive protests have been witnessed. At several places women and children whose homes and land were coming under the marked land protested and the police used force and took them away in police vans and arrested some also.

Till now 190 kms of survey has been done and the remaining will be done with the help of GPS, as the State Revenue department came out with the order on Monday.

Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan said, "This change in attitude clearly indicates that the protests that we had taken up have turned out to be successful and this is our first victory and there will be more victories for us."

S.Rajeevan, one of the key leaders protesting against K-Rail, said whatever mode of survey is employed that makes no difference as they are determined to see that this project, "which will finish off Kerala", will not be allowed to go forward.

K-Rail is currently one of the major campaign points for the May 31 Thrikkakara by-election and Vijayan in his election speech made on May 12 clearly said that "whatever happens K-Rail will be a reality".

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