On December 23, 2019, As per the order issued by the Ministry of Railways, the Central Government has gave its approval of Rs 56,443 crore for 532 km Thiruvananthapuram – Kasaragod, Kerala semi-high speed rail (SHSR) corridor project, named “Silver Line”. This highspeed corridor project will be implemented by Kerala Rail Development Corporation (KRDCL),a joint venture between the Government of Kerala and the Ministry of Railways.Key Points:
i.After the construction of this corridor, the distance between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod will be reduced from 12 hours to 4 hours. This corridor will pass through 11 districts in 14 of Kerala barring Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Palakkad and Wayanad. Trains on track will run at 200 km per hour.
ii.Need for such project: Kerala’s road networks are blocked and faced a traffic during peak hours. Less than 10% of the state’s roads witnessed nearly 80% of the traffic, which results in accidents and casualties. Kerala accounted 4,259 deaths and 31,687 grievous injuries in 2018.
Kerala sets 2024 deadline for Semi High-Speed Rail project
The state Government of Kerala has set a deadline to complete this corridor by the year 2024. There are also plans to connect the corridor with the international airports at Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.
i.Kerala Stata has also decided to raise the project money over the discussions with KfW (German Bank) for $1 billion (around Rs 7,100 crore), with Asian Infrastucture Investment Bank (AIIB) for another $1 billion,with Japan International Cooperation Agency for $3 billion and other agencies.
In addition, the government is also planning to launch green bonds and discussions have been held with IIM (Indian Institutes of Management), Ahmedabad,Gujarat for devising green bonds. The money raised through green bonds will be utilized for financing projects that are environment-friendly.
ii.For resource-mobilisation, the kerala government is also focusing on value-capture financing (VCF) method which is being pushed by the Ministry of Urban Development.
Chief minister– Pinarayi Vijayan
Governor– Arif Mohammad Khan
Tree– Coconut tree