Economy News

‘SILVER LINE’ PROJECT

Written by Talent KAS

Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:

Economy [Paper-II]: Economy of Kerala, Insfrastructure and resources, Major Developmental Projects

News

Ministry of Railways granted in-principle approval for the ‘Silver Line’ project, a proposal of the Kerala government.

What is Silver Line Project?

  • The project involves laying the third and fourth railway lines from Kasaragod in the north to Kochuveli (Thiruvananthapuram) in the south for the movement of semi high-speed trains.
  • The project aims to cut the travel time between the two corners from 12 hours to less than four hours.
  • The 532-km corridor is projected to be built at a cost of Rs 56,443 crore.
  • Trains would complete the journey at four hours instead of 12, with a maximum speed of 200 km/h.
  • The corridor will be built away from the existing line between Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur. But in the Thrissur-Kasaragod section, it will run parallel to the existing tracks.
  • The semi high-speed trains will traverse through 11 of the state’s 14 districts, Alappuzha, Wayanad and Idukki being the exceptions.
  • There are also plans to connect the corridor with the international airports at Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.
  • The project is scheduled to be commissioned by 2024.

Implementation

  • Kerala Rail Development Corporation (K-Rail) will be the nodal agency for the project.
  • K-Rail is a joint venture between the Ministry of Railways and the Kerala government to execute projects on a cost-sharing basis.

Need for the Project

  • According to data shared by experts, less than 10% of the roads in Kerala handle nearly 80% of the traffic.
  • This also gives rise to accidents and casualties; in 2018, Kerala recorded 4,259 deaths and 31,687 grievous injuries.
  • The current railway network is congested with a large number of trains, level crossings and sharp curves. The fastest train, plying between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasaragod, takes nearly 12 hours to cover 532 km.
  • The Silver Line project aims to connect major districts and towns with semi high-speed trains that will run on their own tracks.
[Source: Indian Express]

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