Silver Line work on Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod Semi HSR project may get a flying start

The Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited, the agency which implements the semi high-speed rail project Silver Line, will submit the Detailed Project Report to the Railway Ministry by December.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The work on the state’s ambitious semi high-speed rail project, ‘Silver Line,’ between Thiruvananthapuram and  Kasaragod may get a flying start. The Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL), the agency which is implementing the project, will submit the Detailed Project Report (DPR) to the Ministry of Railways by December. The 531.45-km-long railway line that will reduce the travel time to four hours had recently received approval from the Ministry of Defence and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for conducting an aerial survey to finalise the alignment.

“The DPR is being formulated now. We have completed the traffic survey and the environmental and social impact studies are also underway. The KRDCL has entrusted French consultant Systra with the DPR and we will complete it by December,” said V Ajith Kumar, Managing Director, KRDCL. The project fully adheres to the green protocol and is expected to be commissioned by 2024.

“We have received all the approvals, including from the Defence Ministry and DGCA, for conducting an aerial survey with a helicopter. With the completion of the survey, we will chalk out the final alignment of the ‘Silver Line.’ The same agencies are inspecting the aircraft in Delhi and they will also look into other equipment as well,” said Kumar.

The KRDCL has awarded the contract to a Hyderabad-based firmto conduct the survey. The company, which handled various surveys for the Ahmedabad-Mumbai Bullet Rail Line, will bear the expenses of the aircraft. “The flying will take about a week to complete. Thereafter, the three-dimension images and data collected will be processed in a month,” he added.

The aircraft, installed with laser scanners and sensors, will land at different locations throughout the state with permission from the district collectors concerned. The agency has already marked ground-points and central points every 25 km for the survey.

Earlier, the agency had decided to build an integrated station at Kakkanad with the second phase of Kochi Metro Rail. Besides, Cochin International Airport and Trivandrum International Airport will be connected through feeder stations. Along with the passenger trains, RoRo (Roll on Roll off) services will be made available for transporting consignments through the new railway line.

KRDCL dismisses as baseless over taking final decision on alignment of SHSR Rail Corridor

KRDCL) on Thursday dismissed as ‘baseless’ and ‘misleading’ the impression sought to be created by certain quarters that it has taken a final decision on the alignment of the proposed 532-km double-line Kasaragod-Thiruvananthapuram Semi High Speed Rail (SHSR) rail corridor.

It is absolutely misleading and baseless to suggest that KRDCL has taken a final decision on the proposed SHSR Rail Corridor,” a top official of the Corporation clarified.

The work currently in progress is that of marking the ground-points for conduct of the aerial survey. The ground-points are being marked at a distance of every 25 km and with as much width, the official pointed out.

“This work has been misunderstood by some as that of marking the alignment of the ambitious rail project. The alignment will be finalised only with the approval of the state government and after completion of the aerial survey and further studies,” he said.

The process of land acquisition for the green field project will start only after the finalisation of the alignment, that too with the government approval.

A joint venture of the Kerala Government and the Ministry of Railways, the state Cabinet gave its go-ahead to SHSR after thoroughly considering the feasibility study that has fully taken into account every minute aspect of the project, including the passenger potential and financial viability.