Kerala: Vijayan announces relief package for those facing losses due to K-Rail
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday announced a relief package for those facing losses due to the proposed high-speed rail corridor - K Rail - while asking them to ignore protests against the project.
Vijayan said ₹4.6 lakh will be given for the loss of a home apart from the compensation a person will be entitled to.
He said an additional ₹1.5 lakh and a house under the state government’s Life Mission project can also be sanctioned. For those below the poverty line, five cents (100 cents equals an acre) of land and ₹10 lakh compensation will be given. Compensation ranging from ₹25,000 to ₹40,000 will be given for cattle sheds.
Vijayan promised jobs in the proposed rail corporation for qualified people affected by the project and said ₹13,000 crore will be set aside for compensation as per the market rates. “The government will be there with people who face losses. ...We have to surge ahead. For this, we need such projects,” said Vijayan, who has maintained the government will not bow to protests.
Opposition leader V D Satheesan criticised Vijayan saying he meets only influential people and corporates. “But a majority of the displaced will be common people.”
The proposed corridor will pass through 11 districts. Congress, the main Opposition party in the state, and the Bharatiya Janata Party are opposing the project.
The ₹69, 941 crore project seeks to connect north Kerala’s Kasaragod and Thiruvananthapuram in the south. It needs 1,383 hectares of land of which 1,383 hectares is private land. The state is planning to fund the project through equity funds, foreign lending, and the railway ministry’s part-funding.
The proposed link is estimated to bring down the travel time between Kasaragod and Thiruvananthapuram, covering 529.45km, to four hours from 12 hours. It is expected to be completed by 2025.