k rail silverline protest

People’s Voices against the project 1

The Chief Minister of Kerala who is now on a stint meeting the “ prominent citizens “ in each of the 11 districts through which the Silver line project will pass should instead turn off the alarming signal lights and sirens of his car and step out in the streets masquerading as an ordinary citizen ( as Kings of yester years used to do ) and listen to the pulse of the people. The package of assurances that he is offering with the casually worded rhetoric “ This project is inevitable for Kerala “ should be remade as an answer to what he will hear in secret as he passes the small wayside shops, the fields, the river side and hills where people who have lost their sleep fearing immediate displacement are voicing their dissent. Instead of using police force to silence and scare the people, Pinarayi Vijayan and team should step down and talk to those affected instead of the “prominent personalities” ,not even one of which will be in the affected list . If so this is what he will hear :

“ We are fishers living on the banks of Muvattupuzha river. There are about 75 families who depend on fishing- we women take the fish caught by the men to the houses and make a living. The Silver line project will pass through and destroy our homes which are our real dream project of a life time. This is our dream-to live peacefully and pursue our livelihood”

“ We want to know whose dream, whose development this Government is talking about ? We have not dreamt like this. We have wished for a house of our own, to  work hard and make a decent living. Silver line project has never figured in our remotest dreams”

“ We were badly affected by the floods of 2018. Many of us lived in rehabilitation centres for months till our houses could be made livable . In addition to this fear and anxiety is the fear and scare of being thrown away and displaced with no assurance .Can compensation in money make up for what we will be losing? “

“ None of us are ever going to make use of the dream facilities that the Silver line project is offering. We do not want to reach Kasargod or Thiruvananthapuram in few hours. For us time is in our hands and we know how best to make it worth while.”

“ It is not just the people who are going to lose land or houses who are opposing the project. The CM along with the planners and developers should know that it is a true people’s resistance that we are witnessing now. It consists of well informed people who are convinced that the project will spell doom on the financial, environmental and social fabric of Kerala”

“ This resistance consist of people from all walks of life, from all political parties. We will not allow any one to hijack or spoil the tempo of the struggle. This is because our opposition is based on solid facts and studies”

“ The struggle and resistance consists of people who are not just merely being displaced by the project. It consists of people who want Kerala to exist as a whole. It consists of people who know how such packages and dreams have misled and failed the people “

“ If the project is based on studies and facts why is the Government afraid to put all documents pertaining to the project as a Public Dialogue, take people, the Local Self Governments and the Samara Samithi into confidence and present it before us ? Why is that all RTIs filed are rejected and no document has been made available ?”

“ What we want now is the fulfillment of simple dreams like access to safe drinking water, good roads, schools, health facilities and livelihood and food security. Will Krail satisfy any of these?”

“ We understand that there are major mismatches in Silverline’s two feasibility reports and Detailed Project report. Also that the structural design has been altered without eco impact study .How can we silently accept a disaster in the making?”

“ We know that academicians and scholars in all fields like economics, environment and social science are joining the voice of resistance and asking pertinent questions . The most recent one is the appeal by a prominent person who has requested the CM to freeze the Silver line till the Feasibility report is ready. Should not people like him be included in the “ prominent personality list” and convinced about the project?”

There will be no doubt that the Chief Minister of Kerala will return to his chamber a changed man after this masquerade among the people and review the K-Rail project. Or else this dream project of a few will be built on the shattered lives and dreams of Kerala.

Anitha.S ( anithasharma2007@gmail.com)  compiles  this after reading articles, viewing innumerable videos and posts in Face book that have been appearing since a few months about the K-Rail project.

References : Mathrubhumi weekly 2021 December 5 : Article by M.Suchitra and Sridhar R

Video –Saranya Raj Silver Line Virudha Janakeeya Saqmaram, State Convenor

Dr. K.P.Kannan appeals to CM ( Newspapers-5th Jan 2022)

The appeal continues to write to the Chief Minister requesting him to review and withhold work on the Silver line till all reports are ready and acceptable to the public . chiefminister@kerala.gov.in


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