Protest against SilverLine project


Two days after the State Cabinet gave the nod for commencing acquisition of land for SilverLine, the semi-high-speed rail project from Kochuveli to Kasaragod, members of the Anti-K-rail Janakeeya Samithi staged a protest against going ahead with the project against public will in Kottayam on Friday.

The protest, staged on the MC road near the Pattithanam junction, lasted only a few minutes following an intervention by the local police, which forced the group to disperse. Cases were registered against the protesters for violation of the COVID-19 protocol.

Chackochan Manamel, State committee member of the samithi, accused the State government of arbitrarily going ahead with the project against public will. Despite repeated requests, the government has refused to carry out a social impact assessment of the project and is even refusing to share the detailed project report in the public domain.

He accused the agency that had conducted the environmental impact assessment of committing serious flaws in their study.

“Given the current alignment of the project, at least 5,000 families in Kottayam are set to be evicted from their houses. The protest staged on Thursday marks the beginning of a sustained public protest against the SilverLine project,” he said.

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