The Government of India has recently extended a green signal to Silverline, Kerala’s INR 63,941 crore semi high-speed rail projects that will help reduce pollution levels, accidents, and congestion.
In a statement by Ajith Kumar, Managing Director at Kerala Railway Development Corporation Limited, the proposed project carries the potential to take away nearly 457 lorries off the state’s accident-prone and congested highways daily, since many roll on-roll off trains, each capable of carrying 40 lorries.
Moreover, Silverline will cover Kasaragod-Thiruvananthapuram, a 530-km long track in five hours, he added, stating that such high-speed trains operate in nations like Germany and the UK at the speed of 140 kmph.
Silverline can touch up to 130 kmph, for which rakes may either be imported or built by Indian companies that have expertise. The ro-ro train in Kerala will mostly operate at night and during off-peak hours, he mentioned.
It is worth noting that the operational cost of a lorry will be restricted to Rs 26 per km, which is much lesser than the expense in a road-route. Moreover, the state route will be covered in 5 hours through Silverline as opposed to a 14-hour road journey.
Citing reports, Nirmala Sitharaman, the Hon’ble Finance Minister of India, has sent a letter to the Chief Minister of Kerala- Pinarayi Vijayan requesting the state government to accelerate the land acquisition process after receiving the necessary clearances.
Apparently, the letter dated January 5, 2021, also directed the project implementation agency to engage with Japanese International Cooperative Agency to chart out the funding particulars.
Notably, the ro-ro train will reduce greenhouse gas emission by 2.87 lakh tons from 2025 to 2026. These figures could increase to 5.94 lakh tons in 2052 to 2053 as a high number of passengers and cargo are expected to use this novel services.
According to the suggested scheme, passenger trains along the route will operate between 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. While the per passenger fare is expected at Rs 2.75 per km.