Govt ready for talks on K-Rail: CPI(M)
Party secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, however, said the ongoing land survey and other works will continue.
In the wake of stiff opposition from various quarters, including opposition parties and conservationists, Kerala’s ruling the CPI(M) on Wednesday said it is ready to talk to those who oppose the proposed high-speed rail corridor, K Rail.
Party secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, however, said the ongoing land survey and other works will continue. Earlier, the party had refused talks saying it was discussed in detail in the assembly and other forums.
The Congress-led opposition has been asking the government for an open discussion on the project after stalling the ongoing works. People, who face displacement, are opposing the project fiercely and many courted arrested in the last two weeks. Stiff resistance from local people forced the government to shed its adamant posture, party insiders said.
“We are ready for talks. We will not force the project on people and we will go ahead only after taking them into confidence,” said Balakrishnan in the state capital while releasing a book by former finance minister TM Thomas Iassac on the project.
“We hope the Congress will shed its anti-development stance and support the project that will change the face of the state,” he said, adding the project was part of the alternative development plans being mooted by Left parties.
The ambitious project of the state government will connect north Kerala’s Kasaragod and Thiruvananthapuram in south and reduce present travel time of 12 hours to four, said Kerala Rail Development Corporation Ltd, the nodal agency for the project.
But many experts, including Metro Man E Sreedharan, said high speed trains were not feasible to run on wetlands and its alignment was also flawed. The government is expected to complete Rs.63,491 crore project by 2025. Besides the opposition many conservationists and nature lovers are also opposing the project saying it will spell doom for the state.
The party youth wing Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) said it will start a campaign to remove apprehensions of the people and drum up support to the project. Last week Kerala High Court had lifted the single-bench stay on land survey for the project.