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Silver Line: Permission to apply for foreign loans; 3000 crore for land acquisition

Permission to approach the Union Ministry of Finance for foreign loans on the Silver Line, a semi-express train that can reach Kasargod-Thiruvananthapuram in four hours. Kerala Rail Development Corporation Limited (K-Rail) has been sanctioned by the Union Ministry of Railways, Finance Commission and the concerned Committee under the Ministry of Finance.

Earlier in the day, the right-wing media and the Opposition had publicized the controversy by claiming that the Finance Commission had assessed the project as impractical. Seeing that the explanation of K Rail was satisfactory, the Finance Commission and the Ministry of Railways gave the green light to proceed with the loan process.

Silver Line, the dream project of Kerala, has been approved in principle by the Central Government. The project, which is expected to be completed in five years at a cost of Rs 63,941 crore, is mainly dependent on loans from foreign agencies. Applying for a loan requires the final approval of the Union Ministry of Finance.

Before applying for a loan from a foreign financial institution, the representatives of the institution are required to visit the project area and study the DPR in detail. Only then can the loan be approached through the Union Ministry of Finance. K Rail MD V Ajith Kumar said it would take at least a year to complete the process. He said the process for the full approval of the central government was in progress.

The Silver Line has been designed by the government to accelerate the overall growth of the state after the recession. The Silver Line will be diverted from Thiruvananthapuram to Tirur and parallel to the railway line from Tirur to Kasaragod. The stations are at Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Chengannur, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Tirur, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod.

3000 crore for land acquisition
Efforts are being made to acquire land with a width of 15 to 25 meters even in sparsely populated areas. Land acquisition can begin as agreed in principle. For this, a loan of `3000 crore was provided by Hudco. The land acquired will be better rewarded. The plan is to trust the people completely. Complaints will be resolved prior to acquisition.

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